Newman, Janet and Clarke, John
(2004). Governing in the Modern World.
In: Steinberg, Deborah Lynn and Johnson, Richard eds.
Blairism and the War of Persuasion: Labour’s Passive Revolution.
London: Lawrence and Wishart, pp. 53–65.
What is distinctive about New Labour and Blairism as forms of politics? How do they differ from ‘Old Labour’ and from Thatcherism? The studies in this volume answer these questions. Blairism, the dominant tendency within New Labour, is not a rebranded version of Thatcherism, but a new political formation. It should be seen as a movement away from the social authoritarian neo-liberalism of Thatcherism, towards a statist (or managerialist) form of neoliberalism. While Thatcherism combined market-led policies with a social authoritarianism, Blairism uses the state to impose and manage our identities and ways of living – individualistic, meritocratic, yet strongly pressured. Declaring the end of left-right differences, it seductively redefines socialist and social-liberal aims to fit its project. It persuades us with hopes of social progressivism, while subjecting us to disciplines of global capital.
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