`Seven Year Itch?' The European Left Party: Struggling to Transform the European Union

Richard Dunphy, Luke March

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    14 Citations (Scopus)


    It's an apposite moment to analyze the European Left Party (EL), one of the newest transnational parties (TNPs) founded in 2004, which gathers a large number of radical left parties situating themselves to the left of social democracy. Despite the ostensibly beneficial crisis environment across the EU, radical left parties as a whole have so far failed to make significant gains. The EL's third congress in Paris in 2010 recognized significant future challenges in order to react to the adoption of the Lisbon treaty and to ‘build a Europe of social change’. In this paper we examine this relatively under-analyzed TNP's organizational development and cohesiveness by focussing on the interaction between national parties, the party at European level and the GUE/NGL (European United Left/Nordic Green Left) European parliamentary group. The EL's 2010 congress showed it struggling to combine the ‘deepening’ of its organizational cohesion with the ‘widening’ of its political representation. Although the EL's development to date marks a significant intensification of radical left European co-operation in historical terms, it remains ill-equipped to become an organizationally and strategically effective organization.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)520-537
    Number of pages18
    JournalPerspectives on European Politics and Society
    Issue number4
    Early online date20 Mar 2013
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


    Dive into the research topics of '`Seven Year Itch?' The European Left Party: Struggling to Transform the European Union'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this