Cover: Seeking Social Democracy: Seven Decades in the Fight for Equality by Edward Broadbent, Frances Abele, Jonathan Sas and Luke Savage

Seeking Social Democracy: Seven Decades in the Fight for Equality

Broadbent, Edward, Frances Abele, Jonathan Sas, Luke Savage

  • The first full-length treatment of Ed Broadbent’s ideas and remarkable seven-decade engagement in public life

    Ed Broadbent is unique among living political leaders of international stature in offering a fully developed analysis of social democracy and its relevance in the 21st century. His career as a political philosopher, activist, and politician and his conversations with contemporaries such as Willy Brandt, Pierre Elliot Trudeau, Fidel Castro, and Mikhail Gorbachev inform his analysis of the struggles for social justice in the long 20th century.

    Having come to the socialist and social democratic traditions by way of academic study, Broadbent tested and tempered his ideas in the great postwar struggles over social rights, gender and racial equality, workers’ rights, the containment of capital, and reversing the commodification of private life. The book explores the roots of his egalitarianism and the formation of his social democratic ideas, Broadbent’s engaged internationalism and relationship with key historical figures, and his experiences and reflections in practical politics and pursuit of government across several of the most momentous decades in the history of Canada. He was a Member of Parliament for over two decades and was, for most of this period, leader of the New Democratic Party. He remains to this day an important social democratic voice in the public debates of the nation.

    Part political history, part intellectual biography, part manifesto for social democracy this first-ever full-length treatment of Broadbent’s thought will be animated in dialogue with three collaborators from different generations, each similarly immersed in the history of social democratic ideas — the result being a fresh analysis of social democracy, Canadian politics, and a lively contribution to current debates and dilemmas.

    Available October 10, 2023. PRE-ORDER NOW!


    Price may vary by retailer

    Check availability at your local Canadian independent bookstore:

    Remember that most stores can easily order books they don’t currently have in stock.


  • Ed Broadbent was the leader of Canada’s New Democratic Party from 1975 to 1989 and Member of Parliament for Oshawa (1968–1990) and Ottawa Centre (2004–2006). Before his entry into politics, he taught political theory at York University. He was vice president of the Socialist International between 1979 and 1989 and director of the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development from 1990 to 1996. In 2011, he was the founding chair of the Broadbent Institute.

    Frances Abele, C.M., is Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy and Administration at Carleton University. She is research fellow at the Carleton Centre for Community Innovation, the Institute for Research on Public Policy, and the Broadbent Institute.

    Jonathan Sas, formerly director of research at the Broadbent Institute and a senior political advisor in the BC government, currently works as director of communications at the BC Federation of Labour. Jonathan is a former editor of the Mark News whose writing has appeared in the Toronto Star, National Post, and Maisonneuve Magazine.

    Luke Savage is a staff writer at Jacobin Magazine and a former employee of the Broadbent Institute. His work has been published in The Atlantic, The Guardian, Current Affairs, the Globe and Mail, and the New Statesman.

  • Published: October 2023

    ISBN: 9781770417380

    Dimensions: 6 x 9 in.

    Pages: 366