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Approaches to Labour politics and history

This book is an attempt to take stock of how some of the British Labour Party's leading interpreters have analysed their subject, deriving as they do from contrasting political, theoretical, disciplinary and methodological backgrounds. It explores their often-hidden assumptions and subjects them to critical evaluation. The book outlines five strategies such as materialist; ideational; electoral; institutional; and synthetic strategies. Materialist, ideational and electoral explanatory strategies account for Labour's ideological trajectory in factors exogenous to the party. The 'new political history' is useful in understanding Labour within a less reductive framework than either the 'high' or 'from below' approaches and in more novel terms than the Left-Right positions adopted within Labour. The book assesses the contribution made to analysis of the Labour Party and labour history by thinkers of the British New Left. New Left critiques of labourism in fact represented and continued a strand of Marxist thinking on the party that can be traced back to its inception. If Ralph Miliband's role in relation to 'Bennism' is considered in comparison to his earlier attitudes, some striking points emerge about the interaction between the analytical and subjective aspects in his interpretive framework. Miliband tried to suggest that the downfall of communism was advantageous for the Left, given the extent to which the Soviet regimes had long embarrassed Western socialists such as himself. The Nairn-Anderson theses represented an ambitious attempt to pioneer a distinctive analysis of British capitalist development, its state, society and class structure.

Open Access (free)
Author: Peter Morey

Rohinton Mistry is the only author whose every novel has been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Such a Long Journey (1991), A Fine Balance (1995) and Family Matters (2002) are all set in India's Parsee community. Recognised as one of the most important contemporary writers of postcolonial literature, Mistry's subtle yet powerful narratives engross general readers, excite critical acclaim and form staple elements of literature courses across the world. This study provides an insight into the key features of Mistry's work. It suggests how the author's writing can be read in terms of recent Indian political history, his native Zoroastrian culture and ethos, and the experience of migration, which now sees him living in Canada. The texts are viewed through the lens of diaspora and minority discourse theories to show how Mistry's writing is illustrative of marginal positions in relation to sanctioned national identities. In addition, Mistry utilises and blends the conventions of oral storytelling common to the Persian and South Asian traditions, with nods in the direction of the canonical figures of modern European literature, sometimes reworking and reinflecting their registers and preoccupations to create a distinctive voice redolent of the hybrid inheritance of Parsee culture and of the postcolonial predicament more generally.

Series: Politics Today

A perfect companion to European politics today, written by the same authors, this book presents past events, prominent personalities, important dates, organisations and electoral information in an accessible, easy-to-read format. The book is split into five sections for ease of use: a dictionary of significant political events, a chronology of major events in Europe since 1945, a biographical dictionary, a dictionary of political organisations and electoral data. In addition to being a comprehensive reference tool, this book is intended to provide a sound historical background to the development of Western European politics.

Labour, the people and the ‘new political history’
Lawrence Black

ITLP_C02.QXD 18/8/03 9:55 am Page 23 2 ‘What kind of people are you?’ Labour, the people and the ‘new political history’ Lawrence Black Like their subject, historians of Labour have tended to be attached to tradition and sceptical of novelty – in short, rather conservative. Newer tendencies are nonetheless evident. These result, in part, from changes in Labour. New Labour’s constitutional reforms, its engagement with issues of national identity and communication skills have been concurrent with recent work on the party’s past in such areas (Chadwick 1999

in Interpreting the Labour Party
Open Access (free)
John Callaghan, Steven Fielding and Steve Ludlam

ideological change in the Labour Party and identifies five principal explanatory strategies: materialist; ideational; electoral; institutional; and those which synthesise some or all of these. Limitations in many widely ITLP_A02.QXD 18/8/03 4 9:53 am Page 4 Introduction read texts are discussed and, echoing the final chapter, by Colin Hay, Randall concludes by calling for a multidimensional approach that would reject, among other things, what he considers the artificial opposition of structure to agency. Lawrence Black (chapter 2) considers the ‘new political history

in Interpreting the Labour Party
Open Access (free)
The leadership gamble of William Hague
Mark Garnett

preposterous – unless the individuals concerned were Shadow Cabinet members who had spoken to a ‘ballistic’ Thatcher at the party. But Hague apparently contemplated resignation in the aftermath of Lilley’s speech; the policy supremo himself rapidly returned to the backbenches.10 In Thatcher’s shadow Hague had good reason to be petrified of Thatcher, who during the leadership campaign had saddled him with what was perhaps the least welcome endorsement in British political history. Although an intervention from her was certain to remind the wider public of the Conservative

in The Conservatives in Crisis
Debates about potential and ambition in British socialist thought
Jeremy Nuttall

Gordon Brown’s party conference speech in 2007 represents something of a landmark in British political history in the extent to which it placed the idea of encouraging people’s talents and ambitions at the centre of his political vision. It also points to some ways in which an emphasis on encouraging the development of people’s potential, talents and ambitions has been, and can continue to be, of substantial benefit to socialists, in terms both of helping them to win elections and achieving some of their deepest objectives of equality and empowerment. Two brief points

in In search of social democracy
Antonia Lucia Dawes

encountering an ever-increasing complexity of human movement, global heterogeneity and attendant racist responses. In order to examine this more closely, the chapter connects histories of culture and communication in the city to the contemporary, multilingual dynamics of the ever-evolving street markets where I did my fieldwork. This is, of necessity, a selective account that considers social and political histories of the city as they relate to the question of talk and language use. Unification and colonialism: forging an Italian language and people Antonio Gramsci

in Race talk
Fighting a tropical scourge, modernising the nation
Jaime Benchimol

This chapter shows how successive yellow fever vaccines, conceived as complex sociotechnical constructs, have been involved in the construction of the Brazilian nation state. Three distinct periods in the country’s political history are distinguished: the patriarchal oligarchic state (1822-1930), the national developmentalist state (1930-80), and the state which has since then oscillated between liberal dependency and national interventionism. The successful campaigns against yellow fever run by Oswaldo Cruz formed the backbone for the founding myth of scientific public health and medicine in Brazil. The trajectory of the yellow fever vaccine manufactured at the Oswaldo Cruz Institute, which eventually became the biggest producer worldwide, coincides with economic, welfare, and labour policies that principally benefited urban groups. Rural populations would be the main recipients of the yellow fever vaccine, and it became an important component when national agencies tackled endemic diseases in the interior. Immunisation programmes have helped strengthen the country’s health system, disseminating a culture of prevention. The social mobilisation achieved by the yellow fever and other vaccination campaigns led to new relationships between communities and health services.

in The politics of vaccination
Alex J. Bellamy

(London: G. Bell and Sons, 1919), p. 12. 11 R. Portal, The Slavs (London: Weidenfield and Nicolson, 1969), p. 1. 12 Portal, The Slavs, p. 14. 13 S. Vladovich, Croatia: The Making of a Nation (Oklahoma: Vladovich Publishing, 1995), p. 4. 14 This is a widely accepted version of events. See, for example, I. Babiç, ‘Military History’, in F. Eterovich and C. Spalatin (eds), Croatia: Land, People, Culture, volume 1 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1970), p. 131; S. Guldescu, ‘Political history to 1526’, in Eterovich and Spalatin (eds), Croatia: Land, People, Culture, p

in The formation of Croatian national identity