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Introduction
in Interpreting the Labour Party

This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book considers the 'new political history' by way of a comparison with earlier 'realist' analyses of the party, which explained its historical development with almost exclusive reference to the social nature of the electorate. It looks at one of the assumptions underpinning the concept: Labour's supposed isolation from the rest of European social democracy. The book considers the shifting political projects of the New Left in relation to its developing analysis of the Labour Party over the last forty years. It analyses Ross McKibbin's approach to the relationship which roots the evolution of the Labour Party, and the limits to its growth. This approach is analysed in the consciousness and cultures of organized labour in the first decades of the twentieth century.

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Interpreting the Labour Party

Approaches to Labour politics and history

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