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Interpreting the labour party : approaches to labour politics and history


Callaghan, John; Fielding, Steven; Ludlam, Steve (ed.)

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Abstract Interpreting the Labour Party consists of twelve essays on some of the principal thinkers and schools of thought concerned with the political and historical development of the Labour Party and the wider labour movement. It examines the major methodologies and approaches in Labour studies and critically evaluates much of the most interesting scholarship in this area of study. The essays are written by contributors who have devoted many years to the study of the Labour Party, the trade union movement and the various ideologies associated with them. The collection begins with chapters that examine Labour's ideological journey and assess the impact of the "new political history" on views of the party. Later contributions focus on how the problematic concept of "Labourism" has been applied to the party by the New Left and analyse how Labour's union link has been conceptualised. Key thinkers analysed include Henry Pelling, Ross McKibbin, Ralph Miliband, Lewis Minkin, David Marquand, Perry Anderson and Tom Nairn. Each chapter situates its subject matter in the context of a broader intellectual legacy, including the works of Sidney and Beatrice Webb, Theodore Rothstein, Stuart Hall and Samuel Beer, among others. The book will be of interest to undergraduate students of British politics and political theory, and to academics concerned with Labour politics and history, trade union history and politics, research methodology and political analysis. Table of contens: Introduction John Callaghan, Steven Fielding and Steve Ludlam 1 Understanding Labour’s ideological trajectory Nick Randall 2 ‘What kind of people are you?’ Labour, the people and the ‘new political history’ Lawrence Black 3 ‘Labourism’ and the New Left Madeleine Davis 4 Ralph Miliband and the Labour Party: from Parliamentary Socialism to ‘Bennism’ Michael Newman 5 The continuing relevance of the Milibandian perspective David Coates and Leo Panitch 6 An exceptional comrade? The Nairn–Anderson interpretation Mark Wickham-Jones 7 Class and politics in the work of Henry Pelling Alastair J. Reid 8 Ross McKibbin: class cultures, the trade unions and the Labour Party John Callaghan 9 The Progressive Dilemma and the social democratic perspective Steven Fielding and Declan McHugh 10 Too much pluralism, not enough socialism: interpreting the unions–party link Steve Ludlam 11 Lewis Minkin and the party–unions link Eric Shaw 12 How to study the Labour Party: contextual, analytical and theoretical issues Colin Hay Guide to further reading
Keywords socialist party; political theory; trade union policy; Great Britain; political ideology; political left; historical development; modernization; social democracy; reform policy; trade union; labor movement; working class; political change
Classification Basic Research, General Concepts and History of Political Science
Document language English
Publication Year 2003
Publisher Manchester Univ. Press
City Manchester
Page/Pages 221 p.
Series Critical Labour Movement Studies Series
ISBN 0-7190-6718-9
Status Published Version; reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works