Reinventing the left? : the third way and New Zealand's fifth Labour governments
Connew, Scott Joseph
This thesis analyses the emergence of the 'third way' and the policy approaches implemented by the Labour-led Governments elected at the 1999 and 2002 New Zealand General Elections. Evaluating Anthony Giddens' claims that the third way is the 'renewal of social democracy' which is, therefore, 'unequivocally a politics of the left' is the first aim. Assessing whether New Zealand's fifth Labour Governments could make the same claims is the second objective. Thus the thesis contributes to debates about the contemporary meaning of 'social democracy' and 'the left'. It is contended that the definitive feature of 'the left' is a genuine commitment to the reduction of existing social inequality. Based on this criterion, it is explained that neither Giddens' third way, nor any other manifestation of 'the' third way, can be legitimately regarded as the 'renewal of social democracy'. Similarly, the thesis asserts that to regard the policy approaches of the fifth Labour Governments as an accurate reflection of a contemporary politics of 'the left' amounts to the excessive dilution of the aspirations of 'the left'.
Advisor: Hayward, Janine; Rudd, Chris
Degree Name: Master of Arts
Degree Discipline: Political Studies
Research Type: Thesis