Third Way

Authored by: Martin Powell

Routledge Handbook of the Welfare State

Print publication date:  July  2018
Online publication date:  June  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138631649
eBook ISBN: 9781315207049
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter examines the ‘Third Way’ in social policy. The term is generally associated with the British academic Anthony Giddens and the New Labour government in Britain from 1997 to 2010, especially with Labour Prime Minister between 1997 and 2007, Tony Blair. The Third Way label featured highly in the 1997 Labour Election manifesto and the government’s early policy documents. Blair (1998) wrote a pamphlet entitled ‘The Third way’. However, the main point of reference is generally taken as Giddens’ (1998) text, ‘The Third Way’. Giddens (1998: vii) claims that the term ‘third way’ is of no particular significance in and of itself. Similar terms such as ‘progressive governance’, ‘modernising social democracy’ and the ‘modernising left’ have been used.

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