Download PDF by R. Heffernan: New Labour and Thatcherism: Political Change in Britain

By R. Heffernan

ISBN-10: 0230598439

ISBN-13: 9780230598430

ISBN-10: 0333949404

ISBN-13: 9780333949405

Labour's 1997 victory was once largely credited to the party's reinvention of itself as New Labour. Richard Heffernan argues that the transformation of the Labour celebration is healthier understood because the made of Thatcherism, and marks the emergence of a brand new consensus in British politics. regardless of Labour's declare to be reapplying conventional values, Tony Blair's politics owe extra to neo-liberalism than any conventional social democratic point of view. This wide-ranging and arguable evaluate of either Thatcherism and New Labour is used to demonstrate a brand new thought as to how the method of political swap occurs in practice.

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Sample text

26 Although this `structural constraints' thesis is challenged by (among others) Esping-Anderson,27 the argument demonstrates the moderation of the social democratic reform project as historically practised; at the heart of this project is the centrality of gradual, cumulative reforms as opposed to wholesale, dramatic transformation. But as a `moderate', `reformist' as opposed to `radical' or `revolutionary' social democratic party, Labour has been previously willing to negotiate, modify, or otherwise seek to overcome the structural constraints that capitalism brings to bear upon it.

Although policy can be determined by a series of piecemeal reforms shaped by a number of factors, the genesis of the reforms of the Thatcher government was not just the simple pursuit of a series of pragmatic measures. Although pragmatism or incrementalism in policy development should not be ruled out, the overall picture created by a range of specific initiatives and outcomes demonstrate that Thatcherism is best described as a general political project. It dealt in broad brush strokes; the identifiable political beliefs which underlay policy development were as much a core set of convictions as a set of ideas derived from philosophical reflection.

What past political actors have done all too often determines what present-day actors can do. As a chronological account of provocations and counter-provocations, reactions and structured responses to previous happenings, political change is almost a chain reaction. Political positions are struck in response to those previously taken by other political actors. Because political actors work within a set of established practices and assumptions, political changes can engender a new status quo. This is why Labour's current political stance reflects the Thatcherite political agenda.

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New Labour and Thatcherism: Political Change in Britain by R. Heffernan


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