New Labour: culture and economy

Driver, Stephen and Martell, Luke (1999) New Labour: culture and economy. In: Ray, Larry and Sayer, Andrew (eds.) Culture and Economy after the Cultural Turn. Sage Publications, pp. 246-270. ISBN 9780761958161

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Under Tony Blair, New Labour modernisers have made much of the moral rather than economic arguments for socialism. Values like community and responsibility, they argue, are what really defines socialism or the centre-left, not technical means or instruments such as public ownership, tax-and-spend or state welfare (see, for example, Blair, 1995c; Wright, 1997). New Labour has defined itself in ethical terms. In matters concerning human behaviour, whether in parenting or in the classroom, on welfare or on the streets, New Labour has set out a communitarian moral agenda about duties in the community and the rights and responsibilities of individuals. Both Thatcherite 'get what you can' individualism and rights-claiming social democracy, it is argued, left a moral vacuum in society which needs to be filled (Blair, 1995a). But does New Labour's moralism amount to a 'cultural turn'? Or to put it another way, is New Labour an instance of the ulturalisation of politics?

Item Type: Book Section
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Sociology
Subjects: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN0101 Great Britain
J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
Depositing User: Chris Keene
Date Deposited: 13 Feb 2008
Last Modified: 17 Sep 2019 10:29
Google Scholar:16 Citations
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