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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.

Open Access (free)
Luke Martell

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, and gurus of the Third Way could count on invitations to conferences and gatherings of the politically interested across the world. Yet only a few years later

in The Third Way and beyond
Abstract only
Jenny Andersson

of the third way experiment in the 1980s and the party seems to be uncomfortably stuck in the gap between these two legacies. To conclude, I would suggest that a central point of change in Swedish social democratic thought, discussed in the previous pages, is the gradual acceptance in party ideology of a group in Swedish society that is not productive and that constantly falls behind. The empirical

in Between growth and security
Jenny Andersson

demographic developments. 36 Many of these policies were deeply unpopular in Swedish society, and the party lost some of its image as the custodian of the people’s home. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the SAP tried to reconnect to its historical articulations and break with the legacy of its third way experiment. Once again, party rhetoric contains echoes of post-war discourses. In particular, there has been a newfound

in Between growth and security