By W. Leggett
This well timed publication assesses the legacy of either the 3rd approach and its critics. studying the connection among social idea and political process, it outlines the foundation of a post-New Labour venture. Collapsing the limits among sociology and political technology, this ebook is key studying for somebody attracted to center-left renewal.
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Additional info for After New Labour: Social Theory and Centre-Left Politics
25 In practice the Third Way understanding of providing opportunity (as realising equal worth) involves meeting minimum standards of inclusion. The mantra of ‘no rights without responsibilities’ is perhaps the most closely associated with New Labour and the Third Way. Advocates suggest that the innovation of the Third Way is to recognise the reciprocity of rights and duties. Blair is clear that he is making a value-judgement about the old left and New Right for their failure to narrate the importance of responsibility to the community.
38 On this view, rather than being seen as a site of empowerment for the individual, community comes to represent the imposition of enforced, typically conservative, norms and values (see Chapter 8). This links again with responsibility, in particular with the prescriptive attitude taken towards responsibilities to seek work, and also in criminal justice measures. Levitas has identified a ‘moral underclass discourse’ underpinning New Labour welfare and criminal justice policies, which assumes individualistic, cultural explanations of poverty.
At the same time, the individuals who inhabit this national unit are invoked as the amorphous ‘the people’. Crick laments that, presented in this way, community is evacuated of the concrete, substantive content that he believes gives it meaning: too often, when Blair spoke about restoring a spirit of ‘community’, he linked community to ‘society’ and to ‘nation’, as in Clause Four [of the Labour Party constitution] as amended. 19 These two levels of community each imply a different degree of individual embeddedness within the group; these in turn have different implications as to what extent and how individual behaviour can be determined.