In the late 1990s Third Way governments were in power across Europe - and beyond, in the USA and Brazil, for instance. The Third Way experiment was one that attracted attention worldwide. The changes made by Left parties in Scandinavia, Holland, France or Italy since the late 1980s are as much part of Third Way politics as those developed in Anglo-Saxon countries. Since the early 1990s welfare reform has been at the heart of the Centre-Left's search for a new political middle way between post-war social democracy and Thatcherite Conservatism. For Tony Blair, welfare reform was key to establishing his New Labour credentials - just as it was for Bill Clinton and the New Democrats in the USA. Equality has been 'the polestar of the Left', and the redefinition of this concept by Giddens and New Labour marks a significant departure from post-war social democratic goals. The most useful way of approaching the problem of the Blair Government's 'Third Way' is to apply the term to its 'operational code': the precepts, assumptions and ideas that actually inform policy choice. The choice would be the strategy of public-private partnership (PPP) or the Private Finance Initiative (PFI), as applied to health policy. New Labour is deeply influenced by the thoughts and sentiments of Amitai Etzioni and the new communitarian movement. Repoliticisation is what stands out from all the contributions of reconstructing the Third Way along more progressive lines.
Part III Community and the Third Way The idea of community forms a significant part of the positive content of the Third Way. Anthony Giddens, in his account of the Third Way, says that ‘the theme of community is fundamental to the new politics’. 1 For Amitai Etzioni, ‘cultivating communities where they exist and helping them form where they have been
Introduction Across a wide range of social commentators there has been little doubt that New Labour is deeply influenced by the thoughts and sentiments of Amitai Etzioni and the new communitarian movement. Prideaux 1 and Heron 2 independently point to the original but persisting concept of ‘stakeholding’ and its emphasis on individuals taking an
This chapter aims to place the debate about the Third Way in the wider context of European social policy. It builds on Amitai Etzioni's picture to examine the route map of the Third Way. The chapter explores the different definitions of 'the Third Way', and ways of differentiating it from first and second ways. It illustrates some of the themes in the context of Merkel's different ways or paths of social democracy in Europe. Jospin claimed that social democratic plans in Europe were faithful to 'all the values that lie at the heart of socialism: citizenship, social justice, democracy, the desire for progress and the will to control this progress and our collective destiny'. A number of commentators have suggested broad characteristics/themes of the Third Way, or new social democracy.
, journalists and political commentators started to raise questions about the party’s ‘Big Idea’. The answer to this quest was quickly found in the national press. Melanie Phillips, in the Observer , wrote that Blair’s speeches had the ‘imprints’ of the American communitarian thinker Amitai Etzioni; 1 and, in the Guardian , Seumas Milne claimed that Tony Blair’s New Labour
Blair’s supposed gurus – John Macmurray – means by community . Simon Prideaux establishes ( chapter 7 ) some – in his view – inappropriate antecedents for community in the early thought of another alleged guru of the Third Way: Amitai Etzioni. Eunice Goes suggests that communitarianism may be all well and good but that it has replaced one of the landmarks in left-wing thinking – a
acknowledged, questions arise about the priority among them. Amitai Etzioni has argued for layered loyalties ‘divided between commitment to one’s immediate community and to the more encompassing community, and according priority to the overarching one on key select matters’. 5 But it may be less than clear which community counts as the overarching one. Neera Badhwar says that she ‘will follow communitarian practice in using “society
philosophy . Yet the oft-cited ‘gurus’ of the Third Way – Anthony Giddens way out in front, with Amitai Etzioni leading the pack following a good distance behind – are not political philosophers, but sociologists. When Blair said, at the launch of the Social Exclusion Unit, ‘My political philosophy is simple. Individuals prosper in a strong and active community of citizens. But