Third Way Discourse: European Ideologies in the Twentieth Century

Bastow, Steve and Martin, James. 2003. Third Way Discourse: European Ideologies in the Twentieth Century. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. ISBN 0748615601 [Book]

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Abstract or Description

The 'Third Way' has been hailed by European social democrats as the ideology of the 'radical centre'. Steering a route between state collectivism on the one hand, and market-led neo-liberalism on the other, it promises a new form of governance based on principle not dogma. But third way thinking is not a new phenomenon, and nor is it exclusively of the left. Similar ideas were developed throughout the twentieth century and across the political spectrum, from fascism to ecologism. This book introduces the history of third way ideology, surveys its various contrasting forms and locates it within the context of a recurrent crisis of modern European ideologies. The authors apply a theoretical approach that draws upon contemporary theories of discourse. Understood discursively, third way ideas seek to displace received ideological dichotomies and fashion a sense of common moral purpose and identity at times of accumulated social dislocation. Rather than focus narrowly on issues of public policy, Bastow and Martin analyse the third way as an ideological structure, highlighting in particular its rhetorical features and diverse forms.

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Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Politics > Research Unit in Contemporary Political Theory (RUCPT)



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Date Deposited:

12 Mar 2009 15:42

Last Modified:

27 Jun 2019 15:59


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