Yiannos Katsourides: “Radical Left Parties in Government”

This book provides a comparative analysis of how two radical left parties – the Greek SYRIZA and the Cypriot AKEL – achieved government participation and their subsequent political experiences.

In the face of the most severe and most prolonged crisis in the history of capitalism, it would be expected for radical left parties to seize the opportunity to promote their political agenda. Although reality has often confounded prognosis, two particular radical left parties were elected to the highest government office. The author uses these two examples to engage with the broader question of what to expect when left-wing radicals achieve governance. This question is now of particular importance given the emergence of radical leftists in other parts of Europe, including Corbyn in the UK and Podemos in Spain.
The book attempts a deeper understanding of the radical left party family by examining in detail two of its most prominent exponents, AKEL and SYRIZA, and opens the way to further research into a number of related issues, such as the impact of EU politics on national arenas and vice versa, the impact of the economic crisis on political parties’ programmes and the thin lines involved in issues of party identities. The book incorporates the differences between the two parties as these offer analytical leverage in explaining the outcome: two different radical left parties in government, similar outcome.

Yiannos Katsourides
Radical Left Parties in Government. The Cases of SYRIZA and AKEL
Palgrave Macmillan UK, 2016
170 pages
ISBN 978-1-137-58841-8
Hardcover: £37.99
eBook: £29.99
Yiannos Katsourides is the Director of the Research Institute “PROMITHEAS”, Cyprus, an observing member organisation of transform! europe. He received his PhD from the University of Cyprus (Department of Social and Political Sciences) in 2009. His research interests include, among others, Cyprus and Greek politics, political parties and party systems, political participation, Europeanisation. Dr Katsourides has been awarded fellowships from the Institute of Commonwealth Studies of the University of London and the Hellenic Observatory of the London School of Economics. 

  • The Left and Power: A Historical Retrospective
  • SYRIZA: The History of the Struggle of Factions
  • AKEL’s Twofold Legacy
  • The Journey to Power: One Step Forward?
  • The Radical Left in Government: Two Steps Back
  • Conclusions: What to Do?