Working the 'third way': New Labour, employment relations and Scottish devolution

McCafferty, Patricia (2004) Working the 'third way': New Labour, employment relations and Scottish devolution. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Labour’s election victory in 1997 was heralded as a new era, the dawn of a Third Way, a novel attempt to chart a unique political course overcoming the perceived limitations of both New Right and Old Labour. In this thesis, I explore that era of New Labour generally and, in particular, the impact of the Third Way on working lives. Key to my analysis is New Labour’s attempt to synthesise oppositional interests, in particular those of capital and labour. This involves a crucial rhetoric of flexibility, competitiveness and partnership. My research explores the rhetoric of New Labour in relation to the reality of this new force in power. It does this by:

drawing out key features in the development of New Labour, especially its relation to Old Labour;

examining central elements of New Labour ideology;

arguing that Scotland should be seen as central to the transition from Old to New Labour;

utilising a case study of industrial relations developments in a major electronics factory in the West of Scotland and, to a lesser extent, key developments in public sector employment.

My main finding is that where New Labour’s ideology promises positive benefits, the form of its implication has negative impacts for workers. Since I take New Labour as a process, my thesis concludes with a more speculative exploration of possible future developments, both in relations to New Labour’s role in them, and their possible impact on the New Labour project.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN1187 Scotland
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
Supervisor's Name: Moorhouse, Bert
Date of Award: 2004
Depositing User: Mr Toby Hanning
Unique ID: glathesis:2004-1537
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2010
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 13:42

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