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Criticisms, futures, alternatives

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.

wealth. Stephen Driver, and Pete McCullen and Colin Harris investigate such issues, with an emphasis on defending the Third Way’s egalitarianism, although not without their own reservations about the Third Way. Public–private partnership, furthermore, has been defended in the name of pragmatism – the Left should not be so dogmatic in its antipathy to private sector involvement in

in The Third Way and beyond
The Third Way and the case of the Private Finance Initiative

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. I propose to do this by selecting for more detailed analysis a policy strategy which has been presented by the Government as typifying the Third Way. My choice is the strategy of public–private partnership

in The Third Way and beyond
Missions, the colonial state and constructing a health system in colonial Tanganyika

be at least attempting to meet the health needs of the territory could only really be justified (to the extent that it could) by recognising the voluntary role that actors in the form of missionary organisations were playing in running health services for Tanganyikans. The model that characterised late colonial-period Tanganyika was one of public-private partnership. Having long acted as informally

in Beyond the state

Roy Widdus; the Bill and Melinda Gates’ Children's Vaccine Programme 3 led by Mark Kane and James Maynard; the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization 4 created by Mark Kane, Tore Godal, Jacques-Francois Martin, Steve Landry and Amy Bateson; the Rockefeller Foundation's Public–Private Partnership project 5 single-handedly championed by Ariel Pablos-Mendez (with the support of Timothy Evans) – many of which were ultimately adopted by

in The politics of vaccination
Class polarisation and neo-liberalism in the Irish Republic

Initiatives, the union leaders in the Republic of Ireland have explicitly committed themselves to support for such schemes in the social partnership agreements. Under a framework for public–private partnership, the unions even agreed that some state employees would transfer to private companies.53 Conclusions The Celtic Tiger has been hailed as a model for developing countries because of its success in attracting multinational corporations that have engaged in an export programme. Social partnership was held to be an essential accessory to this strategy. As long as Irish

in The end of Irish history?

social consensus for limited re-nationalisation measures in cases such as the railways where very high levels of public sector investment have not necessarily resulted in improved performance. Equally, in areas such as public-private partnerships and private finance initiative schemes the claim made by New Labour to do what works can seem more doubtful now. Gordon Brown did talk of a ‘public interest test’ in determining the level and form of private sector involvement and although nothing has been done to develop this, it would seem a particularly fruitful idea to

in In search of social democracy

taxation, alleged hostility to enterprise and entrepreneurship, and high levels of public expenditure. However, the Conservatives after May 1997 were perplexed by a Labour government which rejected nationalisation, refused to increase income tax and actually reduced corporation tax, and contemplated further privatisation (as well as private sector involvement in public services via Public–Private Partnerships, and the continued application of Private Finance Initiatives, initiated by the previous Conservative government). The Blair government posed a further problem for

in The Conservatives in Crisis
Implications for jobs and inequality

, accounting, HR functions, shared services) provides no clear evidence regarding the quality of jobs in outsourced high-skilled occupations (Sako et al., 2013). In Europe, a particularly important stream of research has examined the restructuring of public sector service provision in response to government pressure to reduce costs, as well as strategies of the EU to create integrated markets for services across member states. New Public Management strategies have included a blurring of boundaries between the public and the private sectors via public–private partnerships or

in Making work more equal

response. At one level, the idea of regulatory support reinvigorated interest in representative voice at the workplace, while at another trade unions have largely vacated the regulatory space for voice, perhaps seeing Europeanstyle employee information rights as a back-door form of non-union voice (Hall et al., 2013). While EWCs, JCCs and some NERs offer employees some say in matters that affect them and their work, the barriers for those on the periphery of the employment relationship – agency and outsourced workers, and those working in public–private partnerships

in Making work more equal