After New Labour: Social Theory and Centre-Left Politics by W. Leggett

By W. Leggett

This well timed e-book assesses the legacy of either the 3rd method and its critics. interpreting the connection among social thought and political procedure, it outlines the root of a post-New Labour undertaking. Collapsing the limits among sociology and political technology, this ebook is vital interpreting for a person drawn to center-left renewal.

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Extra resources for After New Labour: Social Theory and Centre-Left Politics

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Blair has suggested that equality of opportunity, as the basis for a meritocratic society, is his goal. 10 More radically, equal worth does not even necessarily amount to a call for equality of opportunity. Examining the social policy record of New Labour in government, a number of commentators suggest that equal worth is operationalised as meaning equal minimum standards for inclusion. While nobody should be cut-off from the mainstream (the excluded), considerable inequalities of opportunity can remain in terms of, for example, differential access to education.

This, he argues, can lead to a divisive ‘identity politics’ which: tends to be exclusivist, and difficult to reconcile with the principles of tolerance and diversity upon which an effective civil society depends. 22 However, others argue that relying on a generalised sense of norms at the level of ‘the people’ runs the risk of the state crowding out the civil society that Giddens appeals to. The danger here is of the state acting as moral arbiter, defining the content of generalised norms. This bypasses the intermediary associations between the individual and the state, usually understood as civil society.

Most fundamentally, there is a lack of clarity over the exact scope of the community that is being invoked. At one level, community refers to a concrete and localised set of norms and practices, forming both the physical and moral context in which the Self is grounded. We might think here of a neighbourhood where personal and kinship ties are strong and there is a broad consensus over norms and values. This is often the type of community identified in the work of communitarian writers such as Etzioni.

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