The political philosophy of new labour

Matt Beech

Research output: Book/ReportOther report


Is New Labour more style than substance? Are its policies merely driven by pragmatism? Little has been published on the party's core ideas, the very existence of which is contested. Matt Beech traces the ideological roots of the Labour Party from its nineteenth century origins in the Labour Movement, and through the twentieth century. This book is a study of the political philosophy of New Labour. Matt Beech approaches the study of New Labour's political philosophy in two ways. The first section of the book attempts to place New Labour in the intellectual history of the Labour Party and to set the context out of which New Labour has developed. It charts the intellectual history of the Labour Party from its nineteenth century origins in the Labour Movement, through the twentieth century, and into the 21st Century. The second section is an analysis of the basic ideas of New Labour and their contemporary interpretation of traditional values such as equality, liberty and community. This is then compared to New Right and various 'Old Labour' or traditional social democrat perspectives on these values. Matt Beech claims that New Labour in power is a revisionist social democratic government. Beech argues that New Labour believes in positive as well as negative liberty, prioritarian conceptions of equality that focus on the poorest groups in society and believes in a communitarian social philosophy.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon, UK
PublisherI. B. Tauris
Number of pages272
ISBN (Print)9781845110413
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Publication series

NameInternational Library of Political Studies
PublisherI.B. Tauris


  • New Labour
  • Labour Party
  • Social democracy

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