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.
In the late 1990s ThirdWaygovernments were in power across Europe – and beyond, in the
USA and Brazil, for instance. The Third Way experiment was one that
attracted attention worldwide, and gurus of the Third Way could
count on invitations to conferences and gatherings of the
politically interested across the world.
Yet only a few years later
travel is fully distinct from the one charted by
totalitarian and libertarian approaches’. Moreover,
‘while the various Third Ways differ in their specific
synthesis of the ways of the state and the market, they are pulling
closer to one another’. The term ‘Third Way
society’ suggests a greater permanence than a transitory
‘ThirdWaygovernment’. However, in the period since
benevolent social forces which ThirdWaygovernments need only
manage competently. This volume has pointed to where, on the
contrary, a revitalised Left politics is vital in overcoming the
barriers that remain to the realisation of Giddens’ vision.
Material inequality, asymmetrical power relations and the continuing
tendency of capital to undermine the kinds of dialogic spaces