The 'third way' in action: Inclusion at a cost

Begg, Clive (2003). The 'third way' in action: Inclusion at a cost PhD Thesis, School of Geography, Planning and Architecture, The University of Queensland.

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Author Begg, Clive
Thesis Title The 'third way' in action: Inclusion at a cost
School, Centre or Institute School of Geography, Planning and Architecture
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2003
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Open Access Status Other
Supervisor Smith, Philip
Total pages 360
Collection year 2003
Language eng
Subjects L
370100 Sociology
750504 Law enforcement
Formatted abstract
The recent emergence of the ‘third way’ as a construct formalised by Anthony Giddens, charting the middle ground between social democracy and neoliberalism, follows an historically recursive trend. This latest variant, unlike its predecessors, has found political favour across the world. The disparateness of opinion over its philosophy, together with a lack of research into its implementation requires data on its application to validate assertions that it either increases, or decreases, democracy and civic engagement.

This research draws on the perceptions of 35 elite informants within government, nongovernmental organizations, for-profit, union and community sectors across four inferred ‘third way’ sites, the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States of America and Australia. Using recursive methods within and across respondent interviews, these perceptions were transcribed and coded. The narratives that formed the basis for interpretive inquiry were cast in a critical theoretical context to arrive at an understanding of what the ‘third way’ means in practice.

The findings of this research indicated that respondents had mixed levels of knowledge about Giddens and the ‘third way’ and felt apprehension that dissent against government policy was being curtailed through funding and other strictures. The implications of the research suggest that the ‘third way’ (or new social democracy) is transportable from left to right and back again. The apparent primary intent of the ‘third way’ is the maintenance of government (the “political imperative”) at all costs with a conservative normative agenda (the “moral imperative”) to direct this process. Thus, traditional forms of social critique find no home in the ‘third way’.
Keyword third way
political science
third wave
political imperative
moral imperative
civil society
political activism

Document type: Thesis
Collection: UQ Theses (RHD) - Open Access
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Created: Fri, 21 Nov 2008, 17:34:34 EST