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The "third way", in Britain, has come to be associated with the politics of Tony Blair and New Labour. And Anthony Giddens, the director of the London School of Economics and Political Science, is frequently referred to as Tony Blair's guru as he has made a strong impact on the evolution of New Labour. In The Third Way, he makes a contribution to the debate now going on in many countries about the future of social democratic politics. The reasons for the debate are obvious enough--the dissolution of the "welfare consensus" that dominated in the industrial countries up to the late 1970s; the final discrediting of Marxism, and the very profound social, economic and technological changes that helped bring these about. What should be done in response, and whether social democracy can survive at all as a distinctive political philosophy, are much less obvious. This slim book has been described by Ian Hargreaves, former editor of the New Statesman and The Independent, as being a "landmark" in laying the intellectual foundations of the centre-left position. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
"How can democracies gain the benefits that flow from market forces while pursuing a community that cares for those who fall behind? Anyone interested in fresh approaches to such questions will have to read Tony Giddens′s new book. It is a feast of fresh ideas." Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Dean of the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
"Tony Giddens, allegedly Tony Blair′s favourite intellectual, has done what many considered impossible: he has constructed a coherent and persuasive definition of the third way. But importantly he has pulled it off, insisting that rather than being beyond left and right, it is part of the left, the renewal of social democracy. This book could be decisive in persuading the Blairites that they must look to the left rather than the right for their political future. It is an important and potentially very significant political intervention." Will Hutton, Editor–in–Chief, the Observer
"Tony Giddens has made the most significant contribution yet to laying the intellectual foundations of a modernized centre–left position. This book will be a landmark. It is a pioneering work of vital interest to the formation of political thinking on both sides of the Atlantic." Ian Hargreaves, formerly Editor of New Statesman and The Independent
"This is an important book that deserves to be taken seriously ... the author puts forward an intellectual defence of Tony Blair′s politics which is engaging, comprehensive and open. It has a punchy style, and is written with a breathless excitement which makes it easy to read. The Third Way is a major contribution." The Stakeholder
"A worthwhile and stimulating read." Earth Matters
"Anthony Giddens has earned a considerable reputation among social scientists over the past three decades as a theorist. Though important within the academy, such reputations have a limited cachet in the world at large. Recently, though, Giddens has attained bona fide celebrity, or at least demicelebrity, status outside the cloisters, in his related roles as director of the London School of Economics and intellectual darling of British Prime Minister Tony Blair′s New Labour party. His name by now must be a household word in his native Britain, given the frequency with which he is mentioned in the media there. On this side of the Atlantic as well, he has been interviewed, cited as expert, and his ideas variously praised and panned in a wide variety of non–academic, even mainstream media." Christopher J. Richter, Communication Theory Book Review
"Giddens has constructed a coherent and persuasive ′intergrated political programme′" Harish Kapur, World Affairs<!––end––>--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. See all Product description
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As am sure everyone who has either read this book or studied any social scientific subject will know, the Third Way was the ideological premise on which much of New Labour’s policy was formulated. Ideologically speaking Giddens’ Third Way is a classic of both postmodernist political literature and thought and deserves to be respected as such. However as a model of governance it is long past its sell by date. Some even argue that it expired during the premiership of the last Labour Government; indeed back in 2005 I had a lecturer whose area of expertise was the political and administrative development of the British Government and detested the Third Way, openly dismissing it as outdated (in hindsight this is perhaps why I did not read the book then!). Practically speaking the Third Way is now confined to history. Having said this with the upcoming General Election we face the possibly of another Labour Government (either as a majority, minority, or perhaps even in coalition with a like minded party). Should any of these outcomes materialize, social democracy in both ideology and practice will be looking to renew itself once again to adapt to the current socio-economic climate, and will be back under the academic microscope. Henceforth the Third Way may return to academic agendas in that comparison with the former and new developments, both in terms of continuities and contrasts will play a major role in academic analysis.
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