Labour, democratic renewal and the New Social Democracy
in The search for democratic renewal
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In Britain and Australia, Labour governments have been experimenting with democratic renewal. This chapter examines Australian and British Labour's interest in one strand of democratic renewal, a desire to create new spaces for public engagement and consultation. A useful way of understanding the changes to both parties and their interest in democratic renewal is to view them as elements of the New Social Democracy (NSD). Basing his analysis on Anthony Giddens's work, S. White identifies the main themes of the NSD, these being 'real opportunity', 'civic responsibility' and 'community'. A central motif of the NSD is that social democrats need to rethink the role of the state. The NSD seeks to reconfigure the relationship between state and civil society in order to shore up political participation and support. Linked to the NSD debates about the changing role of the state is the challenge of the shift from 'government' to 'governance'.

The search for democratic renewal

The politics of consultation in Britain and Australia

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