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Beyond New Labour: the future of social democracy in Britain

Beyond New Labour: the future of social democracy in Britain

Patrick Diamond & Roger Liddle (ed)

12 June 2009


How can social democracy adapt to today's changing world?

Betond New Labour Social democratic thinking has to come to terms with the dramatic economic and social transformations sweeping the world. The importance of the state has been reaffirmed, but the future cannot lie solely in a return to statism and a revival of Keynesian social democracy.

This crisis represents an ideological turning point. Greater economic intervention may be wholly necessary; however, it is not sufficient.Equally, in society there can be no return to the ‘normality’ that prevailed before the global crisis. Something new is needed. There are serious tensions in the coalition between ‘cosmopolitan’ and ‘communitarian’ world-views, essentially a gulf between those who welcome globalisation and those who resist it, which cannot remain concealed forever. Before a ‘new’ social democracy can be constructed that both masters the new economic conjuncture and reintegrates these underlying conflicts, a significant period of profound debate is unavoidable.

Beyond New Labour aims to stimulate such a debate about the next generation of the social democratic programme for Britain. It does not focus directly on the future of the Labour Party. Instead, by examining in turn the economy, culture, equality, society, the constitution and foreign affairs, it considers the structural choices and constraints that shape the potential of social democracy.

This vital and timely book is edited by Patrick Diamond and Roger Liddle, who have also written key chapters and the introduction and conclusion. They have assembled an important team of influential contributors to ensure that the book has real breadth and offers a major contribution to political debate.

Purchase a copy of the book here.

Read Roger Liddle's speech at the book's launch here.


Introduction: Why social democracy needs new thinking
Patrick Diamond & Roger Liddle

Part I: Overview

Chapter 1. After progress
David Marquand

Chapter 2. "Broken Britain"? The new economic and social realities facing British social democrats in the 21st Century
Roger Liddle & Simon Latham

Chapter 3. The electoral map
Peter Riddell

Part II: Economy and culture

Chapter 4.  Progressive economics
Will Hutton

Chapter 5. Market failure
John Kay

Chapter 6. Democracy, community and culture
Melvyn Bragg

Part III. Equality, society and family

Chapter 7. A progressive agenda in relation to family, gender and generation
Mary Daly

Chapter 8. Social justice in a changing world: Towards a fairer Britain
Patrick Diamond

Chapter 9. Identity in Britain
Hannah Jameson

Part IV. The constitution and foreign affairs

Chapter 10. Constitutional reform
Iain McLean

Chapter 11. Foreign policy
Donald Macintyre

Conclusion: The challenge of renewal
Patrick Diamond & Roger Liddle

About the contributors

Melvyn Bragg is an award-winning writer and broadcaster. He has written, edited and produced LWT’s The South Bank Show since 1978. His most recent novels include Crossing the Lines (2003) and Remember Me (2008). A member of the House of Lords since 1998, he is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, as well as the Royal Television Society and President of the National Campaign for the Arts.

Mary Daly is professor of sociology at Queen’s University Belfast. She was the Chairperson of the Council of Europe's High Level Task Force on Social Cohesion in Europe and former Chair of the Royal Irish Academy's National Committee for the Social Sciences. Her previous publications include Parenting in Europe: A Positive Approach (2007).

Patrick Diamond is senior visiting fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and transatlantic fellow of the German Marshall Fund of the United States. A former special adviser in 10 Downing Street and to Peter Mandelson, he is a member of the board of the international centre-left thinktank Policy Network. His previous publications include Shifting Alliances (2008), Public Matters (2007), New Labour’s Old Roots (2004) and Global Europe, Social Europe (with Anthony Giddens and Roger Liddle, 2006).

Will Hutton is chief executive of the Work Foundation. A former editor-in-chief of the The Observer, he is the author of The State We're in (1995), The World We're In (2002) and The Writing On The Wall: China and the West in the 21st Century (2007).

Hannah Jameson is head of research at the IPA. She previously worked for the Fabian Society, contributing to their work on Britishness, citizenship and integration. She completed her Masters in Cultural History at the University of Manchester, where her research focused on the relationship between space and identity in the late 19th century city.

John Kay is a distinguished economist and academic. A former director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, he is a Financial Times columnist and has also held chairs at the University of Oxford and London Business School. He is currently a visiting professor at the London School of Economics. His most important publication is The Truth about Markets (2003).

Simon Latham is a policy researcher at the international centre-left thinktank Policy Network, where he is coordinating “the politics of climate change” and “the EU fit for purpose” research programmes. He is a graduate of the University of Oxford, where he chaired and was secretary to the University’s Labour Club.

Roger Liddle is chair of Policy Network. He was until October 2007 economic adviser to the European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso and for seven years from 1997 European adviser to then British Prime Minister, Tony Blair. He is currently chair of the UK government’s New Industry, New Jobs, Universities and Skills advisory panel, which reports directly to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills, as well as a visiting fellow at the European Institute, London School of Economics. Roger has written extensively on European and British affairs. He is the author of numerous publications, including The Blair Revolution (with Peter Mandelson, 1996), and Global Europe, Social Europe (with Anthony Giddens and Patrick Diamond, 2006). He has also co-authored two papers for the President of the Commission’s thinktank, the Bureau of European Policy Advisers, on “Europe’s Social Reality” (February 2007) and the “Single Market: Yesterday and Tomorrow” (July 2006), alongside several other Fabian Society and Policy Network pamphlets.

Don Macintyre has been The Independent's Jerusalem correspondent since 2004. Previousl he was the paper’s Chief Political Commentator for eight years and before that Political Editor of The Independent and The Independent on Sunday. He published a well-received of biography Peter Mandelson in 1999.

David Marquand is an academic, former Labour MP and former principal of Mansfield College at the University of Oxford. His publications include The Progressive Dilemma: From Lloyd George to Blair (1999) and Britain Since 1918: The Strange Career of British Democracy (2008). He is also a fellow of the British Academy.

Iain McLean is Professor of Politics at the University of Oxford, an Official Fellow in Politics at Nuffield College and director of the UK public policy unit in the University’s Politics department. Recent publications include Adam Smith, Radical and Egalitarian: an Interpretation for the 21st Century (2006). He is also a Fellow of the British Academy.

Peter Riddell has been a leading political commentator and an Assistant Editor for The Times since 1991. He is chair of the Hansard Society. He has written widely on both Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair including The Thatcher Decade (1989), Hug Them Close: Blair, Clinton, Bush and the 'Special Relationship' (2004) and The Unfulfilled Prime Minister: Tony Blair's Quest for a Legacy (2006).

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