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Blair's Britain

ISBN: 978-0-7456-2458-7
256 pages
January 2003, Polity
Blair
In this important new book, Stephen Driver and Luke Martell examine how the Blair government is re-shaping Britain, Britain's place in Europe and British social democracy. This timely study of Labour's first term in power for two decades challenges the view that New Labour has thrown in the towel to Thatcherite neo-liberalism. Driver and Martell argue that Tony Blair's government has in fact taken politics and policy-making beyond Thatcherism. But they also cast doubt on some of the social democratic claims of Labour modernizers. While Labour's stunning election victories in 1997 and 2001 have given the Blair government an unprecedented opportunity to shape the political and policy landscape in Labour's image, Blair's Britain continues to bear the imprint of eighteen years of radical Conservative government.

Blair's Britain explores the central policy dilemmas faced by the Labour Party in government in its second term and beyond: the balance between social justice and economic efficiency; strong government and pluralist politics; and work and home life. The authors explore how social democrats and progressive politicians across Europe in Germany, France, the Netherlands, Scandinavia and the Mediterranean, as well as the United States, have responded to the challenges of globalization and social change – and examine the comparative politics of social democracy across Europe and the rest of the world today.

This book is the most comprehensive survey of New Labour yet to appear, and will be read by students of politics and sociology as well as being accessible to the general reader.


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Preface.

Part I After Thatcherism.

1 1997.

2 Labour in Power 1997-2001.

Part II Rethinking Social Democracy.

3 New Labour's third way.

4 The third way beyond Britain.

5 New Labour, third ways and globalisation.

Part Three New Labour, New Britiain.

6 Blair and Britishness.

7 The New United Kingdom: Reshaping the constitutution.

8 Ending Welfare as we know it??.

9 New Labour, work and the family.

Conclusion: After Thatcherism: Blairism.

Bibliography.

Index
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Stephen Driver is Senior Lecturer in the School of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Surrey Roehampton.

Luke Martell is Senior Lecturer in the School of Social Sciences at the University of Sussex.
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Timely study of Labour's first term in power for two decades

Challenges the view that New Labour has thrown in the towel to Thatcherite neo-liberalism.

But also casts doubt on some of the social democratic claims of Labour modernizers because Blair's Britain continues to bear the imprint of 18 years of radical Conservative government.

Considers the central policy dilemmas faced by the Labour Party in government in its second term and beyond: the balance between social justice and economic efficiency; strong government and pluralist politics; and work and home life.

Examines the comparative politics of social democracy across Europe and the rest of the world today, including Germany, France, the Netherlands, Scandinavia and the Mediterranean as well as the United States.


.

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"The study - thoughtful, challenging and always illuminating - is a significant contribution to our understanding of 'New Labour'." Parliamentary Affairs

"Wide-ranging and deeply probing, Blair’s Britain is an indispensable guide to post-Thatcherite politics. Driver and Martell provide a comprehensive and detailed analysis of the forces that have shaped the Blairite attempt to rethink social democracy. The result is a book that should be read not only by students of British government but by historians, political theorists and anyone interested in the future of politics." Professor John Gray, Department of Government, London School of Economics

"...this is a timely, inquisitive and informative assesment of British politics and policy post Thatcher. It is an easy to read, up to date resource for scholars and students alike. Not only British politics watchers, but those who are interested in wider debates regarding the theories and practices of social democracy, as well as new public policy challenges should be sure to read 'Blairs Britain'."Alexandra Dobrowolsky, Canadian Journal of Political Science

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