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The Third Way: The Renewal of Social Democracy and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

The Third Way: The Renewal of Social Democracy 1st Edition

10 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0745622668
ISBN-10: 0745622666
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Editorial Reviews


"How can democracies gain the benefits that flow from market forces while pursuing a community that cares for those who fall behind? Anyone interested in fresh approaches to such questions will have to read Tony Giddens's new book. It is a feast of fresh ideas." Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Dean of the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

"Tony Giddens, allegedly Tony Blair's favourite intellectual, has done what many considered impossible: he has constructed a coherent and persuasive definition of the third way. But importantly he has pulled it off, insisting that rather than being beyond left and right, it is part of the left, the renewal of social democracy. This book could be decisive in persuading the Blairites that they must look to the left rather than the right for their political future. It is an important and potentially very significant political intervention." Will Hutton, Editor-in-Chief, the Observer

"Tony Giddens has made the most significant contribution yet to laying the intellectual foundations of a modernized centre-left position. This book will be a landmark. It is a pioneering work of vital interest to the formation of political thinking on both sides of the Atlantic." Ian Hargreaves, formerly Editor of New Statesman and The Independent

"This is an important book that deserves to be taken seriously ... the author puts forward an intellectual defence of Tony Blair's politics which is engaging, comprehensive and open. It has a punchy style, and is written with a breathless excitement which makes it easy to read. The Third Way is a major contribution." The Stakeholder

"A worthwhile and stimulating read." Earth Matters

"Anthony Giddens has earned a considerable reputation among social scientists over the past three decades as a theorist. Though important within the academy, such reputations have a limited cachet in the world at large. Recently, though, Giddens has attained bona fide celebrity, or at least demicelebrity, status outside the cloisters, in his related roles as director of the London School of Economics and intellectual darling of British Prime Minister Tony Blair's New Labour party. His name by now must be a household word in his native Britain, given the frequency with which he is mentioned in the media there. On this side of the Atlantic as well, he has been interviewed, cited as expert, and his ideas variously praised and panned in a wide variety of non-academic, even mainstream media." Christopher J. Richter, Communication Theory Book Review

"Giddens has constructed a coherent and persuasive 'intergrated political programme'" Harish Kapur, World Affairs<!--end-->

From the Back Cover

The idea of finding a "third way" in politics has been widely discussed - not only in the UK, but in the US, Continental Europe and Latin America. But what is the third way? Supporters of the notion haven't been able to agree, and critics deny the possibility altogether. Anthony Giddens shows that developing a third way is not only a possibility but a necessity in modern politics. The third way represents the renewal of social democracy in a world where the views of the old left have become obsolete, while those of the new right are inadequate and contradictory. A new social democratic agenda is emerging that is integrated, robust and wide-ranging. It is an agenda that can rekindle political idealism.

The author's previous works, especially"Beyond Left and Right" (Polity Press 1994), have influenced debates about the social democracy in many countries across the world. Frequently referred to in the UK as Tony Blair's guru, Giddens has made a strong impact on the evolution of New Labour. The author or editor of over thirty books, he is currently the Director of the London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Polity; 1 edition (January 4, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0745622666
  • ISBN-13: 978-0745622668
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 5.7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #838,884 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 10, 2000
Format: Hardcover
In 1956 British Labour MP Tony Crossland wrote about a party "searching for its lost soul." The world was changing so fast that the old doctrines were no longer any guide for the future. Crossland argued that, at its core, socialism was more a set of moral values and aspirations than an unchanging political program.
Like Crossland's The Future of Socialism, Anthony Giddens' The Third Way: The Renewal of Social Democracy, is an attempt to reinvent social democracy--to give a political movement back its lost soul.
By 1998 many of the party faithful believed that Labour had sold its soul for victory at the polls. Tony Blair was talking tough on crime, tough on welfare dependency, and tough on government spending. The party had abandoned its old social democratic policies and modeled itself on Clinton's pragmatic New Democrats. Many Labour intellectuals were wondering whether the party had any vision at all other than winning elections.
Meanwhile Giddens, as an academic sociologist, had been questioning the philosophy behind the socialist tradition. With the 1994 publication of Beyond Left and Right he gave a long and subtle account of the exhaustion of the old ideologies and the prospects for the future. With the victory of 'left of center' parties on both sides of the Atlantic under the banner of the 'third way' he saw a chance to popularize his views.
Giddens is philosophical sociologist and works mostly in the realm of abstract ideas. None of his political books have much to offer as accounts of real-life political decision making or practical suggestions for refom. A much better example of that genre would be something like David T. Ellwood's 1988 Poor Support (the blueprint for Clinton's failed welfare reform plan).
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Eric on January 5, 2001
Format: Paperback
I considered myself more of a traditional Socialist for the last couple of years. Then, one night in September, I was browsing through the History/Social Science section on the second floor of the Connecticut College Library, and I happened across this book. Curious to know more about the "Third Way" so derided by orthodox Socialists and other leftists, I picked it up and began to read. This book was the first factor that caused me to shift my thinking away from the orthodoxy of the old left and toward a modernized vision of Social Democracy for the 21st century. Giddens makes it clear through his analysis of the evolution of the modern economy that Socialism is dead, and that no viable alternative to a market economy exists anymore. He makes a strong case for letting go of orthodox Social Democracy and moving forward to a new system that incorporates the potential of modern education and technology. He also makes it plain that the state is still necessary to promote equality, protect the environment, and mitigate the natural negative effects of the capitalist system. I recommend picking this up and taking a look at Gidden's ideas for moving the world forward to a system that rejects the orthodoxy of both the left and the right, and calls for us to seek out a newer world.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
We must build an American social democracy. There is a middle way between the two extremes of Socialism and unfettered Market Capitalism. There is a way that we can secure our rights as individuals and fulfill the communal duties and responsibilities we have to one another, without overtaxing and overburdening the brilliance capitalism fosters. Giddens need to be a more known, more cited, better respected author within the canon of political philosophy.
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By Richard Bolan on September 29, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Interesting but I was disappointed. This was obviously for a lay audience. But I was hoping that the author of "structuration" theory would connect his first-rate theoretical work to the problem of finding a way between the failures of socialism and the failures of capitalism. This book attempted this but at a pretty superficial level.
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4 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Josh Isralowitz on August 15, 2002
Format: Paperback
I can imagine that this book would be decent for people who don't know much about political theory or serve as a reading for intro to political theory classes. However, it serves as nothing more. The book fails to give any concrete evidence to back up his ideas. I guess then this book would constitute a good outline for how he feels social democracy should go, but as one reviewer said, this is not an academic text. I guess if you have some time on your hands and want an intro social democracy and what he feels the future of it is, than read this. If you want facts and detail, don't bother. One more thing, I find it quite scary if it is true that Tony Blair based his policy on this book
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