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Understanding Labour's ideological trajectory

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Nick Randall


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This chapter explores contending interpretations of the dynamics of ideological change in the Labour Party. After outlining and critiquing existing theories of ideological change it proposes an alternative critical realist interpretation of these processes.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Randall NJ

Editor(s): Callaghan, J.; Fielding, S.; Ludlam, S.

Publication type: Book Chapter

Publication status: Published

Book Title: Interpreting the Labour Party: Approaches to Labour politics and history

Year: 2003

Pages: 8-22

Publisher: Manchester University Press

Place Published: Manchester

Notes: The chapter represents perhaps the first comprehensive attempt to draw together and critique theories of ideological change in the Labour Party. It addresses literatures on ideological change in political parties in general, in social democratic parties and in relation to the Labour Party itself. These varied literatures are given a distinctive categorisation of materialist, ideational, electoral, institutional or hybrid. It is here that I would make the claim for the rigour of the piece. The remainder of the chapter argues that the defects of these existing approaches, particularly the tension between structure and agency in the process of ideological change, is best resolved by the author's own critical realist interpretation of ideological revisionism. It is here that the chapter's best claims for originality lie.

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 0719067197