Skip to content

Seminar series

Hendrik de Man and Social Democracy

ADGRC Seminar - Book Presentation

Add to calendar 2021-04-08 15:00 2021-04-08 16:30 Europe/Rome Hendrik de Man and Social Democracy Online ZOOM YYYY-MM-DD


08 April 2021

15:00 - 16:30 CEST




In this De Gasperi seminar, Max Weber Fellow Tommaso Milani will present and discuss together with HEC researcher Giovanni Bernardini his new book "Hendrik de Man and social democracy: the idea of planning in Western Europe, 1914-1940".

Faith in planning has often been considered 'the political religion of post-war Europe', in Tony Judt’s iconic phrase. Nevertheless, how such a supple and elusive term as planning entered mainstream public discourse remains an under-researched topic. This study discusses how the Belgian socialist intellectual and politician Hendrik de Man (1885-1953) devised and championed a specific model of planning during the 1930s, not only to curb mass unemployment during the Great Depression but also as part of a much more ambitious endeavour to redefine the goals, values and practices of democratic socialism.

By examining de Man’s ideas, involvement in party politics, tenure as Minister and impact over several parties and trade unions across Western Europe, the study sheds new light on the difficulties the non-communist Left had in embracing the mixed economy, foreshadowing many of the practical as well as theoretical challenges Western European social democracy faced after 1945.


Giovanni Bernardini (Università di Verona)


Tommaso Milani (ISB. Bochum)

Go back to top of the page