publications > the making of a young country
making of a young country, chapter by Helen Wilkinson for The Blair Agenda, edited
by Mark Perryman, published by Lawrence and Wishart, 1996
Under Tony Blair's
leadership, for the first time in a generation Labour has a realistic possibility
of defeating the Conservatives. But is New Labour new enough? How does Blair's
brand of modernization measure up to the changing shape of late-20th-century politics?
This study examines in detail the enduring legacy of Thatcherism, a legacy that
has played a central role in determining the parameters of New Labour's policy
debates. Recounting past histories of Labourist modernizations, contributors analyze
the model for transformation Tony Blair has offered his party, and the redefinition
of the labels "left" and "right" forced by this process. Drawing
on a wide variety of critical theories, this book focuses on the key ideological
themes that Tony Blair has highlighted since becoming party leader - ethics and
socialism, social justice and community, nationhood and the "young country".
Do these themes amount to something more than just a brilliant election-winning
strategy? In a collection which foregrounds the need for a renewal of intellectual
life, the generational, constitutional and cultural tensions that might offset
the ambitions of a Blair government, are addressed in a context of thoughtful
realism, but also with an optimism in the potential for change that matters. Contributors
to this volume include: Kevin Davey, Andrew Gamble, Anne Showstack Sassoon, Gareth
Smyth, Wendy Wheeler and Helen Wilkinson.
Buy now from Amazon