By W. Leggett
This well timed booklet assesses the legacy of either the 3rd means and its critics. examining the connection among social concept and political technique, it outlines the root of a post-New Labour venture. Collapsing the bounds among sociology and political technology, this ebook is vital examining for someone attracted to center-left renewal.
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Additional info for After New Labour: Social Theory and Centre-Left Politics
45 The Third Way to the left: social democratic revisionism Finally in this typology are those who locate the Third Way in the tradition of social democratic revisionism. 46 As Rubinstein observes: The Labour Party has in reality never attempted to do more than ameliorate the worst excesses of capitalist society. 47 Analysis of this sort points to the emphasis on work and productivity, centralising instincts and cultural conservatism of previous social democratic governments, and suggests that the Third Way is but the latest manifestation of these tendencies.
The rhetorical strength of this is that those who attack the Third Way from either left or right appear to be irrational, as standing against the ‘real-world’ developments that Third Way Sociology 23 have turned left and right into ‘fundamentalisms’. 24 However, for the Third Way to also be the programme of a modernised centre-left, it needs to be shown to be distinct from both Keynesian social democracy (old left) and neoliberalism (New Right). This cannot be achieved by simply pointing to the ‘inevitable’ outcome of social processes, but necessitates the active recombination of left and right.
An emphasis on transparency and devolution is also appropriate to the Third Way’s sociological analysis of a detraditionalised and individualised society. It was shown in Chapter 1 how Giddens identifies the collapse of hierarchical, command and control forms of governance under these twin pressures. 31 Subsidiarity – the devolution of decision-making to the most local level possible – is thus identified by Third Wayers as the best means of adapting political decision-making to social realities.