Third Way / Edition 1

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Overview

The Third Way enjoyed a dramatic success when it first appeared in the late 1990s. The book helped to provide inspiration for left-of-centre parties in a variety of different countries around the world, and many incorporated elements from it into their political programmes. Its influence in Britain was particularly strong and the author worked closely with successive Blair governments in the formulation of social and economic policy. But all governments have their own agendas, and they interpreted and adapted the ideas of The Third Way for their own purposes. In some circles the third way came to be seen as an endorsement of a market-driven approach to politics. The new edition of this classic text includes an extended Preface in which Giddens clarifies the original intent of The Third Way and analyses some of the major developments in political and economic life in the decade since the book first appeared. 'The third way' was always a label for the renewal of social democracy: the point was to update social democracy in the face of far-reaching social and economic change, especially transformations brought about by the intensifying of globalization. Giddens argued that we need to go beyond the two main traditions which dominated post-War thinking in the industrial countries - the 'Old Left', on the one hand, and market fundamentalism, on the other. The Preface assesses the impact of New Labour and of parallel innovations in other countries, analyses the implications of the financial crisis for the further development of social democratic thought and considers how far the arguments of the Third Way retain their relevance today. 'What's left?' - the question is as pressing today, and as difficult to answer, as it was a decade or more ago.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"How can democracies gain the benefits that flow from market forceswhile pursuing a community that cares for those who fall behind'Anyone interested in fresh approaches to such questions will haveto read Tony Giddens's new book. It is a feast of fresh ideas."Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Dean of the John F. Kennedy School ofGovernment, Harvard University

"Tony Giddens, allegedly Tony Blair's favourite intellectual,has done what many considered impossible: he has constructed acoherent and persuasive definition of the third way. Butimportantly he has pulled it off, insisting that rather than beingbeyond left and right, it is part of the left, the renewal ofsocial democracy. This book could be decisive in persuading theBlairites that they must look to the left rather than the right fortheir political future. It is an important and potentially verysignificant political intervention." Will Hutton,Editor-in-Chief, the Observer

"Tony Giddens has made the most significant contribution yet tolaying the intellectual foundations of a modernized centre-leftposition. This book will be a landmark. It is a pioneering work ofvital interest to the formation of political thinking on both sidesof the Atlantic." Ian Hargreaves, formerly Editor of NewStatesman and The Independent

"This is an important book that deserves to be taken seriously... the author puts forward an intellectual defence of Tony Blair'spolitics which is engaging, comprehensive and open. It has a punchystyle, and is written with a breathless excitement which makes iteasy to read. The Third Way is a major contribution." TheStakeholder

"A worthwhile and stimulating read." Earth Matters

"Anthony Giddens has earned a considerable reputation amongsocial scientists over the past three decades as a theorist. Thoughimportant within the academy, such reputations have a limitedcachet in the world at large. Recently, though, Giddens hasattained bona fide celebrity, or at least demicelebrity, statusoutside the cloisters, in his related roles as director of theLondon School of Economics and intellectual darling of BritishPrime Minister Tony Blair's New Labour party. His name by now mustbe a household word in his native Britain, given the frequency withwhich he is mentioned in the media there. On this side of theAtlantic as well, he has been interviewed, cited as expert, and hisideas variously praised and panned in a wide variety ofnon-academic, even mainstream media." Christopher J. Richter,Communication Theory Book Review

"Giddens has constructed a coherent and persuasive 'intergratedpolitical programme'" Harish Kapur, WorldAffairs

Harvey J. Kaye
..."[T]he Third Way" basically refers to a politics and governing vision that is supposed to differ from both the market fundamentalism of the right and the statism of the socialist tradition....The faddishness of the Third Way represents not simply the acceptance of the triumph of capital, but also the Clintonization of European politics and ideas. This is not an export we should be proud of.
The Progressive
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780745622675
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 1/28/1999
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Anthony Giddens is the former director of the London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Table of Contents

Preface.

1. Socialism and After.

The death of socialism.

Old-style social democracy.

The neoliberal outlook.

The doctrines compared.

The recent debates.

Structures of political support.

The fate of social democracy.

2. Five Dilemmas. .

Globalisation. Individualism.

Left and right.

Political agency.

Ecological issues.

Third way politics.

3. State and Civil Society.

Democratising democracy.

The question of civil society.

Crime and community.

The democratic family.

4. The Social Investment State. .

The meaning of equality.

Inclusion and exclusion.

A society of positive welfare.

Social investment strategies.

5. Into the Global Age.

The cosmopolitan nation.

Cultural pluralism.

Cosmopolitan democracy.

The European Union.

Market fundamentalism on a world scale.

Conclusion. .

Notes.

Index.

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