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Publisher Description

Now that Anthony Giddens has thrown his hat into the ring by associating his broad social theoretical contributions with Third Way political strategies, and the Third Way has moved into a more complex phase--losing its innocence in the geo-politics of the Balkans--it is a good time to critically evaluate such a relationship. Of course there is much more in Giddens' general perspective than any particular political platform or practice. Neverthless the degree of overlap between Third Way positions and Giddens' preoccupations is quite striking. Certainly the dilemmas of the Third Way can have an interesting interpretation by relating them to the dilemmas of his special contribution to a social theory of the present. Third Way politics is surging in popularity amongst parties of the Left who seek a solution to the problem of how to have coherent and electorally engaging policies in the face of the economic rationalist onslaught of the last fifteen years. Grounded in the new, highly individualist, subject who emerged from Thatcher's England, as well as individualist America, the Third Way advocates the need for a break with past political strategies while insisting on the possibility of an ethically focussed politics. (1) It attempts to address general problems of the social order which are distinctive to our period and which mark it off from an era typified by class mobilisation. If class division was the critical demarcation line a generation ago, now it is social exclusion. If collective solutions appealed to citizens a generation ago, now they must be individually shaped and carry individual responsibilities. If opposition to the market seemed a feasible prospect a generation ago, now ethical politics must work through the market to achieve a reconstruction of community.

Religion & Spirituality
March 22
Arena Printing and Publications Pty. Ltd.
The Gale Group, Inc., a Delaware corporation and an affiliate of Cengage Learning, Inc.

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