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Beyond left and right: Can the third way deliver a reinvigorated social democracy?

Fudge, S and Williams, S (2006) Beyond left and right: Can the third way deliver a reinvigorated social democracy? Critical Sociology, 32 (4). pp. 583-602.

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The work of Anthony Giddens is indicative of much contemporary social and political theory which posits the new neo-liberal global order as the paradigm of progress. Giddens' theoretical arguments, concerning reflexive modernisation and the virtues of the third way, have become hugely influential, not only in academia but, more significantly, within political circles: underpinning, among others, the former Clinton administration, Schroder's Social Democrats and the policies of the New Labour government. This paper argues however that structuration - the theory which underpins Giddens' sociological take on the world - is inherently flawed and is inadequate in accounting for many of the real issues of power and inequality that many individuals face in today's world. As such, it is argued that, in appropriating the core principles of this flawed sociological interpretation of human behaviour, the third way promoted by New Labour serves to legitimize rather than to regulate the structuring principles of economic globalization. While this paper acknowledges many of the arguments postulated by Giddens and Blair regarding the realities of the contemporary world and the uncertainties surrounding the modernization project, through the work of Beck and an exploration of some of the differences in the French and Swedish welfare regimes, it seeks to ask whether the concept of the third way that has been developed through the Blair/Giddens model is necessarily the political blueprint through which to reinvigorate social democracy. © 2006 Brill Academic Publishers.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Surrey research (other units)
Authors :
Williams, S
Date : 1 November 2006
DOI : 10.1163/156916306779155162
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 17 May 2017 11:51
Last Modified : 24 Jan 2020 21:20

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