Anthony Giddens, director of the London School of Economics and Political Science published The Third Way in 1998. What does Third Way mean? For The author, the goal is a renewal of the social-democracy. Through this phrase he refers to a framework of thinking and policy-making that seeks to adapt social democracy to a world which has changed fundamentally over the past two or three decades? It is a third way in the sense that it is an attempt to transcend both old style social democracy and neo-liberalism. This book seeks to show how a political idealism can be revived, because a political life is nothing without ideals but this last years the ideals of the left have fallen, and it is necessary to rebuild a new doctrine and ideology. I am not going to judge the work of Giddens, but simply sum up his view on the contemporary society, the political life (particularly the one in Great Britain) and his proposals for a renew of the left. Then, it will shortly expose the impact of his work in England and the entire world.
[...] Anthony Giddens's The Third Way is regarded by many as the key text of third way politics. Translated into twenty-five languages, it has shaped the development of the third way. He has made a strong impact on the evolution of New Labor and he is frequently referred to in the UK as Tony Blair's guru. Today we can also say, that the victory of the new labor has only depended of its image in the media because it stayed at the power. [...]
[...] Active civil society The fostering of an active society is a basic part of the politics of the third way because civic decline is real and visible in many sectors of contemporary societies. It is seen in the weakening sense of solidarity in some local communities and urban neighborhoods, high level of crime, and the break-up of marriages and families. Giddens suggests that state and civil society should act in partnership. “Community” doesn't imply trying to recapture lost form of local solidarity; it refers to practical leans of furthering the social and material refurbishment of neighborhoods, towns and larger local areas. [...]
[...] Five dilemmas Anthony Giddens discerns five dilemmas of which the social democracy has to take care: globalization, individualism, the left/right scheme, political agency and the ecological problems Globalization We leave today in a world that is becoming more and more borderless. The most important change is the expanded role of the world financial markets, increasingly operating on a real-time basis. While much trade remains regionalized there is a “fully global” economy on the level of financial markets. This movement is affecting the position and power of states over the world. [...]
[...] Despite neo-liberalism might seem to have triumphed across the world, and seem standing unchallenged, Anthony Giddens asserts that it is a doctrine in trouble. The chief reason is that its two halves, market fundamentalism and conservatism are in tension. Conservatism always meant a cautious, pragmatic approach to social and economic change (for instance face of the French Revolution), so the continuity is central to the idea of conservatism as the free market philosophy takes quite a different attitude, pinning its hopes for the future in unending economic growth produced by the liberation of market forces. [...]
[...] The social democrats need also to contest economic and cultural protectionism, the territory of the far right, which sees globalization as a threat to national integrity and traditional values. The Third ways policies Giddens exposes the program of the third way: The third way program The radical centre The new democratic state (the state without enemies) Active civil society The democratic family The new mixed economy Equality as inclusion Positive welfare The social investment state The cosmopolitan nation Cosmopolitan democracy In his book he explains those different terms. I will briefly sum up the one which seems for me to be the more interesting. [...]
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