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Background and political career
Born in Cardiff, his father was Hilary Marquand, also an academic and former Labour MP. His younger brother was the film maker Richard Marquand, and James Marquand is his nephew. Marquand was educated at Emanuel School in Battersea, London, Magdalen College, Oxford, St. Antony’s College, Oxford, and at the University of California, Berkeley.
He was the MP for Ashfield from 1966 to 1977, when he resigned his seat to work as Chief Advisor (from 1977 to 1978) to his mentor Roy Jenkins who had been appointed President of the European Commission. During the 1970s split between 'Croslandite' and 'Jenkinsite' social democrats within the Labour Party, Marquand was part of the Jenkins group and joined the Social Democratic Party (SDP) when it was founded. Marquand sat on the party’s national committee from 1981 to 1988 and was an unsuccessful candidate for the party in the High Peak constituency in the 1983 General Election. When the SDP merged with the Liberal Party to form the Liberal Democrats, Marquand remained with the successor party until rejoining the Labour Party following the election of Tony Blair as Labour leader.
Academic career and writings
Marquand’s academic career began as lecturer in politics at the University of Sussex and included the occupancy of two chairs in politics, first at Salford and then at Sheffield and finally as Principal of Mansfield College, Oxford. Marquand is currently a Visiting Fellow, department of politics, University of Oxford and Honorary Professor of Politics, University of Sheffield.
Marquand’s writings are broadly based upon issues surrounding British politics and social democracy. He is widely linked to the term “progressive politics” and the concept of a “progressive dilemma” in British politics, although he has since distanced himself from the term (if not the ideas it represents). Marquand has written extensively on the future of the European Union and the need for constitutional reform in the United Kingdom.
Originally a tentative supporter of Blair’s New Labour, he has since become a trenchant critic, arguing that “New Labour has ‘modernized’ the social-democratic tradition out of all recognition”, even while retaining the over-centralization and disdain for the radical intelligentsia of the old “Labourite” tradition. He is one of 20 signatories to the founding statement of the democratic Left group Compass.
In August 2008 Marquand published an article in The Guardian newspaper which was seen by some as being complimentary about Conservative Party leader David Cameron. Marquand called Cameron not a crypto-Thatcherite but a Whig and argued that Cameron “offers inclusion, social harmony and evolutionary adaptation to the cultural and socio-economic changes of his age.…”
Marquand was among 30 people to put his name to a letter to The Guardian – 'Lib Dems Are The Party of Progress' – in support of the Liberal Democrats in the May 2010 election but withdrew this support less than a month after the election. Marquand is currently a member of the Labour Party and has come out in full support of Ed Miliband.
He has subsequently written in support of David Cameron's 'Big Society' vision in Prospect Magazine making him an inspiration behind www.theprincipledsociety.com
- David Marquand "Labour has got Cameron wrong: this is no crypto-Thatcherite but a whig", The Guardian, 29 August 2008
- "Lib Dems are the party of progress" The Guardian, 28 April 2010
- "Blow to Nick Clegg as party threatens 'breakaway'" Evening Standard, 16 December 2010
- “Inquest on a Movement: Labour’s Defeat & Its Consequences,” Encounter, July 53, 1979
- Parliament for Europe, Jonathan Cape, 1979
- (w. David Butler), British politics and European elections, Longmans, 1981
- (ed.) John Mackintosh on Parliament and Social Democracy, Longmans, 1982
- The Unprincipled Society, Fontana Press, London, 1988
- (w. Colin Crouch (eds.)), The New Centralism: Britain Out of Step in Europe?, Blackwell, Oxford, 1989
- (w. Colin Crouch (eds.)), 'The Politics of 1992: Beyond the Single European Market, Blackwell, Oxford, 1990
- (w. Colin Crouch (eds.)), Towards Greater Europe? A Continent Without an Iron Curtain, Blackwell, Oxford, 1992
- (w. Colin Crouch (eds.)), Ethics and Markets: Cooperation and Competition within Capitalist Economies, Blackwell, Oxford, 1993
- (w. Colin Crouch (eds.)) Re-inventing Collective Action, from the global to the local, Blackwell, 1995
- (w. Seldon A (eds.)), The Ideas that Shaped Post-War Britain, Fontana Press, London, 1996
- 'Community and the Left', in Giles Radice (ed.), What Needs to Change: New Visions for Britain, Harper Collins, London, 1996
- The New Reckoning: Capitalism, States and Citizens, Polity Press, Oxford, 1997
- Ramsay Macdonald: A Biography, Metro Books, London, 1997
- Must Labour win?, Fabian Society, London, 1998
- “Premature Obsequies: Social Democracy Comes in From the Cold,” The New Social Democracy, Blackwell, Oxford, 1999
- The Progressive Dilemma: From Lloyd George to Blair, Phoenix Giant, London, 1999
- “Pluralism vs. Popularism,” Prospect, June 1999
- (w. Ronald Nettler), Religion and Democracy, Blackwell, Oxford, 2000
- “Can Blair Kill off Britain’s Tory state at last?,” New Statesman, 14/05/2001
- The Decline of the Public: The Hollowing Out of Citizenship, Polity Press, Cambridge, 2004
- “The public domain is a gift of history. Now it is at risk,” New Statesman, 19/01/2004
- “A direct line to the Almighty,” New Statesman, 02/05/2005
- “A leader I’d have followed,” New Statesman, 15/08/2005
- “The betrayal of social democracy…,” New Statesman, 16 Jan 2006
- "Mammon's kingdom:An essay on Britain, Now", Allen Lane, 2014
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by David Marquand
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|Member of Parliament for Ashfield