The End Of Parliamentary Socialism

Overview

This trenchant account of the last twenty-five years of the British Labour Party argues that Tony Blair’s modernizing tendency was profoundly mistaken in asserting that the only alternative to traditional social democracy and narrow parliamentarianism was an acceptance of neo-liberalism. In blaming the Labour left, rather than the social-democratic right for the party’s years in the electoral wilderness, the modernizers rejected the creativity and energy which the party’s New Left had mobilized, and without which...

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Overview

This trenchant account of the last twenty-five years of the British Labour Party argues that Tony Blair’s modernizing tendency was profoundly mistaken in asserting that the only alternative to traditional social democracy and narrow parliamentarianism was an acceptance of neo-liberalism. In blaming the Labour left, rather than the social-democratic right for the party’s years in the electoral wilderness, the modernizers rejected the creativity and energy which the party’s New Left had mobilized, and without which their own professed aim of democratic renewal was unlikely to be realized. In this new edition, the authors, in collaboration with David Coates, review the debate in light of the Blair government’s first three years in office.

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Editorial Reviews

Critical Sociology
“Leo Panitch and Colin Leys have written a book whose significance extends far beyond the specific case of the British Labour Party.”
Contemporary Politics
“... a brilliant refutation of New Labour's version of history. With an impressive range of evidence, careful analysis and a theoretical framework, [Panitch and Leys] have provided a highly readable and committed book ... recommended for everyone who really wants to understand the politics and recent history of the Labour Party.”
Times Literary Supplement
“... a rich and immensely enjoyable narrative, full of detail about the trajectory taken by Labour over the last quarter-century.”
From the Publisher
“Leo Panitch and Colin Leys have written a book whose significance extends far beyond the specific case of the British Labour Party.”—Critical Sociology

“... a brilliant refutation of New Labour’s version of history. With an impressive range of evidence, careful analysis and a theoretical framework, [Panitch and Leys] have provided a highly readable and committed book ... recommended for everyone who really wants to understand the politics and recent history of the Labour Party.”—Contemporary Politics

“... a rich and immensely enjoyable narrative, full of detail about the trajectory taken by Labour over the last quarter-century.”—Times Literary Supplement

Kent Worcester
The End of Parliamentary Socialism is clearly aimed at a politically engaged readership that shares the authors' concern with the prospects for leftist renewal and advance...the book has relatively little to say about recent developments; it measures social progress, and political innovation in terms of a formal identification with a particular brand of socialist politics. In short, this is a book that longs to refight yesterday's battles.
— Political Science Quarterly
Times Literary Supplement
A rich and immensely enjoyable narrative, full of detail about the trajectory taken by Labour over the last quarter-century.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781859843383
  • Publisher: Verso Books
  • Publication date: 5/17/2001
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 380
  • Product dimensions: 0.85 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 6.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Colin Leys is Emeritus Professor of Political Studies at Queen’s University, Canada. His previous books include Politics in Britain, The Rise and Fall of Development Theory and, with Leo Panitch, The End of Parliamentary Socialism.

Leo Panitch is Canada Research Chair in Comparative Political Economy and Distinguished Research Professor of Political Science at York University. Editor of The Socialist Register for 25 years, his many books include Working Class Politics in Crisis, A Different Kind of State, The End of Parliamentary Socialism, and American Empire and The Political Economy of Global Finance.

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Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations
Preface to the Second Edition
Preface to the First Edition
1 From New Left to New Labour 1
2 Origins of the Party Crisis 16
3 Tony Benn: Articulating a New Socialist Politics 39
4 The Search for an Alternative Strategy: The Limits of Policy 66
5 The Labour New Left in Government: Containment and Marginalisation 86
6 The Abandonment of Keynesianism 107
7 The Conflict over Party Democracy 134
8 The Crisis of Representation: 'Between Agitation and Loyalty' 165
9 The Defeat of the Labour New Left 192
10 Disempowering Activism: The Process of Modernisation 214
11 Tony Blair: The Transition from Socialism to Capitalism 237
12 Beyond Parliamentary Socialism 262
Epilogue: The Denouement 272
Notes 293
Index 357
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