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Home > Research > Publications & Outputs > The third way : neo-liberalism with a human face?
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The third way : neo-liberalism with a human face?

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

Published

Publication date05/2006
Host publicationNew Labour und die Modernisierung Gross britanniens
EditorsSebastian Berg, Andre Kaiser
Place of publicationAugsberg
PublisherWissener Verlag
Pages333-366
Number of pages34
ISBN (Print)3-89639-487-8
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

In the 1990s there was much talk about a 'Third Way' for Europe, North America, and, indeed, many other regions. Six years ago, speaking in Copenhagen, Tony Blair urged this new path on all European social democrats. Few were keen to accept his advice. For example, Gerhard Schröder, when questioned in the 1998 federal election campaign, claimed that he was not �Germany's Blair� (but his own man), that the SPD was not copying New Labour (its reform came earlier), and that it had not adopted the Third Way. Nonetheless he and Blair lent their names to a tract that recommended precisely this path to those who still lagged behind, published as Europe: The Third Way/Die Neue Mitte (1999). Despite the limited appeal of the Third Way in Europe, Blair has used the British Presidency to urge the �Third Way� on his partners in 2005 and, this time, British press reports suggest that the message has been received more warmly. Even if these reports are credible rather than chauvinistic, it is not yet clear whether this reflects more than the growing recognition that the European Union cannot go on in the old way and shows broad acceptance of New Labour�s patent remedies for developing a new way to solve current problems. It is against this background that my contribution will explore possible meanings of the Third Way in relation to social democracy, the relevance of the Third Way to Britain, and the extent to which New Labour can be seen to have developed a viable Third Way or is using this is an ideological mask for a neo-liberal economic, political, and social project.