Reinventing the Left

  • ID: 3987685
  • Book
  • 264 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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Communism is dead, traditional social democracy is weak, and neo–liberalism has failed. Can the Left fill the vacuum?

The essays in this book argue that there is a viable future for left–of–center politics, but that it requires a radical break with the assumptions of the past. The deepening globalization of production, the break–up of working–class communities, and the limitations of the centralized state demand new thinking about economic renewal and social reform. Autonomy must supplement equality as the leading value of the Left; inequalities of power must be corrected outside the workplace as well as within it; markets must be directed and not abolished; and radical democracy must be established as an end in itself.

In this book Anthony Giddens and Perry Anderson debate social change in industralized societies; Gordon Brown and Anne Phillips address the meaning and value of community; Michel Rocard and Will Hutton discuss alternative economic strategies; Gosta Esping–Andersen and Frances Fox Piven propose new ideas for the welfare state; and David Marquand and Jos de Beus set out competing visions for the European Union.

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List of Contributors.

Introduction: David Miliband.

Part I: The Context: Understanding the Present: .

1. Brave New World: The New Context for Politics: Anthony Giddens.

Comment: Power, Politics and the Enlightenment: Perry Anderson.

Part II: Citizenship, Equality and Democracy: .

2. Inequalities of Power, Problems of Democracy: David Held.

Comment: Deciding About Rights: Anna Coote.

3. Equality, Difference and Democracy: Elizabeth Meehan.

Comment: Citizenship and Political Change: Raymond Plant.

4. Ethnic Difference and Racial Equality: New Challenges for the Left: Tariq Modood.

Comment: Minority Rights, Majority Values: Bhikhu Parekh.

Part III: Social Solidarity and Economic Prosperity: .

5. The Politics of Potential: A New Agenda for Labour: Gordon Brown.

Comment : Whose Community? Which Individuals?: Anne Phillips.

6. Productive Solidarities: Economic Strategy and Left Politics: Joel Rogers and Wolfgang Streeck.

Comment: Don′t Forget the Demand Side: Robert Kuttner.

7. Social Solidarity in a Mixed Economy: Michel Rocard.

Comment: The Social Market in a Global Context: Will Hutton.

Part IV: Politics Beyond Labour: .

8. Equality and Work in the Post–industrial Life–cycle: Gosta Esping–Andersen.

Comment: Economic Imperatives and Social Reform: Frances Fox–Piven.

9. Sustaining Social Democracy: The Politics of the Environment: Stephen Tindale.

Comment: Sustainability and Environmental Policy: Five Fundamental Questions: Susan Owens.

Part V: Instruments of Change:.

10. Reinventing Federalism: Europe and the Left: David Marquand.

Comment: European Constitutional Patriotism: Jos de Beus.

11. Reinventing Politics: Manuel Escudero.

Comment: Turning Outwards – Towards a New Sort of Party: Margaret Hodge.

Part VI: Afterword: .

12. Do′s and Don′ts for Social Democrats: James Cornford and Patricia Hewitt.


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′Brimming with new ideas on citizenship, civil society, community, direct democracy, empowerment, reform of the welfare state, and the need for more supranational and regional government.′The Economist

′The collection of essays ... gives a penetrating analysis of the future of the left–of–centre politics ... The essays give modern relevance to old values.′ The Hindu

′These essays represent a very important attempt to engage in a new discussion about the future and meaning of the left.′ Renewal

′This book′s contributors have rediscovered the left from some of its earlier roots and redefined it in today′s terms. Moreover, with a spirit of optimism, they have discussed many of the more important aims and principles from which the policies of the next British government may be forged.′ Political Studies

′A penetrating analysis of the future of the left–of–centre politics and its viability at a time when communism is dead and gone, social democracy appears to fragile to transform history, and the Enlightenment confidence about the future being full of universal peace has collapsed. Superseding the traditional definitions of the Left, the essays give modern relevance to old values.′ The Literary Review

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