Tomorrow's Economy

The politics of growth, stability and reform

9 April 2013

Progressive Governance: Memos to the Left

Policy Network

There is now ample evidence that the narrow politics of austerity is failing. In many European countries drastic spending cuts have driven the economy back into recession, further exacerbating public debts and deficits and creating divisive new distributional conflicts. The International Monetary Fund continually downgrades its global growth forecasts, and now acknowledges that it had underestimated the folly of collective belt tightening. A decisive resolution to the ongoing eurozone crisis still seems a long way off. With rising protests and anger against widespread job losses and declining living standards, the public is desperately looking for a change of course.

At the same time, the solutions advanced by the centre-left have to be credible to cut through in a complex economic and political environment. A principled rejection of austerity is not enough, neither is the conventional fall back option of ‘spend and borrow’. This is the political reality.

To seize the moment and rebuff the growing tide of populism filling this vacuum, the progressive centre-left will need to leave its comfort zone. This publication of memos focuses on 3 pillars of progressive governance that need sustained attention, critical thinking and new ideas.

1. The politics of growth, production and reform
2. Lifting living standards and providing good jobs in an era of increasing global competition
3. Equipping young people for the new economy and tackling youth unemployment

Copenhagen Transatlantic conference:
The publication will be presented at a Policy Network and Global Progress conference hosted by Danish prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt. It will bring together political leaders including, Stefan Löfven (Sweden), Ed Miliband (UK), Martin O’Malley (US), Diederik Samsom (Netherlands), Thomas Mulcair (Canada); as well as over 150 leading thinkers, policymakers, academics, campaigners and a new generation of progressive politicians for a major two day programme of transatlantic policy exchange and critical debate on how the centre-left can respond to the challenges of growth, social stability and declining living standards.


Matt Browne, Olaf Cramme & Michael McTernan

SECTION I: Beyond austerity: The politics of growth, production and reform 

No return to “business as usual” for European social democracy – Roger Liddle

A forward looking agenda for growth and reform – John D. Podesta
Prospering through innovation economics – Robert D. Atkinson
A three step approach to eurozone recovery – Gustav A. Horn
The new politics of production – Will Marshall
Remodelling the state for economic growth – Kitty Ussher
Adapting to the globalised learning economy paradigm – Bengt-Åke Lundvall
Social-ecology: A way forward for social democracy – Éloi Laurent
Taking a long-term view of industrial strategy – George Cox
The case for fiscal councils – Simon Wren-Lewis
Spurring growth in an era of constraints – Menzie Chinn
Let Europe arise – Anna Diamantopoulou

SECTION II: Lifting living standards in an era of global competition: Jobs, wages and security

How to achieve shared prosperity even if wages aren’t rising – Lane Kenworthy

Combining competitiveness, growth and solidarity – Torben Iversen
Creating a system of well-being warning lamps – Anke Hassel
Saving capitalism with a new Fordism – Michael Lind
Growing the economy from the middle out – Heather Boushey
Re-engaging in workplace politics – Frans Becker
Tackling income security inequalities – Ronald Dekker
Only fiscal stimulus will increase employment and earnings – Tomas Korpi

SECTION III: Empowering young people for the new economy: Skills, investment and mobility

Overcoming the challenges to youth opportunity – Karen Kornbluh

Responding to the rising NEET demographic – Sue Maguire
The education quality imperative – Eric A. Hanushek
Taking on the tough politics of social investment – Patrick Diamond
Childcare, childcare, childcare – Jon Kvist
Integrating training and mobility to fight youth unemployment – Karen Anderson
Encouraging geographical mobility – Eskil Wadensjö
The reality of downward intergenerational mobility – Steven Roberts