The Labour Party was formed in 1900 as a coalition between trade unions and socialist intellectuals with the aim of securing representation for the working class in parliament. During the First World War, Labour was transformed from a pressure group to a party of government, and in 1945 it formed its first majority government, which carried out an extensive programme of social reform.
Today, however, like other social democratic parties in Western Europe, the party finds itself in retreat. What is the explanation for the rise and decline of social democracy?
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