After New Labour: Social Theory and Centre-Left Politics by W. Leggett

By W. Leggett

This well timed publication assesses the legacy of either the 3rd means and its critics. studying the connection among social concept and political approach, it outlines the root of a post-New Labour venture. Collapsing the limits among sociology and political technology, this ebook is vital examining for an individual attracted to center-left renewal.

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Extra resources for After New Labour: Social Theory and Centre-Left Politics

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Ever since the inception of New Labour, Blair and his project have been widely accused of being purely pragmatic and ‘not believing in anything’. There is thus no little irony in the fact that, on the issue of Iraq, Blair gave his most forceful demonstration of conviction-based leadership; yet it is this very conviction that may tarnish his legacy forever. As Martin Jacques observes: On this Blair abandoned his normal timidity and caution, ignored the focus groups, took on his opponents and argued his case.

From this perspective, the abandonment of Keynesian demand management and corporatism does not represent the collapse or 26 After New Labour betrayal of social democracy. Rather, new techniques are deployed to pursue social democracy’s enduring ends. The undermining of Keynesian demand management within the confines of the nation-state in turn leads to a wider reconfiguring of left and right. Being forced to separate ends from means, social democrats create a political space in which they are able to countenance policies that would previously have been off-limits.

Changes in the nature of production are particularly important in any assessment of social democratic politics, owing to the productivist analysis it shares with Marxism. Within both perspectives, the nature of the production process is central to the form of the state and to political identities and interests. The historical agent of social democratic politics has been a large, relatively homogenous and unionised working class, with the male breadwinner at its core. This was traditionally envisaged as the decisive group in electing Labour governments who, in return, would pursue social democratic policies to improve the material condition of the working-class majority.

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