Third Way

The Third Way is a position akin to centrism that tries to reconcile right-wing and left-wing politics by advocating a varying synthesis of some centre-right and centrist economic and some centre-left social policies.[1][2] The Third Way was created as a re-evaluation of political policies within various centre-left progressive movements in response to doubt regarding the economic viability of the state and the overuse of economic interventionist policies that had previously been popularized by Keynesianism, but which at that time contrasted with the rise of popularity for neoliberalism and the New Right.[3] The Third Way is promoted by social liberals[4] and some social democratic parties.

Major Third Way social democratic proponent Tony Blair claimed that the socialism he advocated was different from traditional conceptions of socialism and said: "My kind of socialism is a set of values based around notions of social justice. [...] Socialism as a rigid form of economic determinism has ended, and rightly".[5] Blair referred to it as "social-ism" that involves politics that recognized individuals as socially interdependent and advocated social justice, social cohesion, equal worth of each citizen and equal opportunity.[6] Third Way social democratic theorist Anthony Giddens has said that the Third Way rejects the traditional conception of socialism and instead accepts the conception of socialism as conceived of by Anthony Crosland as an ethical doctrine that views social-democratic governments as having achieved a viable ethical socialism by removing the unjust elements of capitalism by providing social welfare and other policies and that contemporary socialism has outgrown the Marxist claim for the need of the abolition of capitalism.[7] In 2009, Blair publicly declared support for a "new capitalism".[8]

The Third Way supports the pursuit of greater egalitarianism in society through action to increase the distribution of skills, capacities and productive endowments while rejecting income redistribution as the means to achieve this.[9] It emphasizes commitment to balanced budgets, providing equal opportunity which is combined with an emphasis on personal responsibility, the decentralization of government power to the lowest level possible, encouragement and promotion of public–private partnerships, improving labour supply, investment in human development, preserving of social capital and protection of the environment.[10] However, specific definitions of Third Way policies may differ between Europe and the United States. The Third Way has been criticized by certain conservatives, classical liberals and libertarians who advocate laissez-faire capitalism.[11][12] It has also been heavily criticized by other social democrats and in particular democratic socialists, anarchists and communists as a betrayal of left-wing values,[13][14][15] with some analysts characterizing the Third Way as an effectively neoliberal movement.[16][17]

Clinton Blair
Bill Clinton and Tony Blair, early adherents of the Third Way
Manuel Valls and Matteo Renzi - Festival Economia 2015
Manuel Valls and Matteo Renzi, contemporary political leaders considered to follow the Third Way


The term third way has been used to explain a variety of political courses and ideologies in the last few centuries. These ideas were implemented by progressives in the early 20th century.

The term was picked up again in the 1950s by German ordoliberal economists such as Wilhelm Röpke, resulting in the development of the concept of the social market economy. Röpke later distanced himself from the term and located the social market economy as first way in the sense of an advancement of the free-market economy.[18]

In Czechoslovakia during the Prague Spring in 1968, reform economist Ota Šik proposed third way economic reform as part of political liberalization and democratization within socialist society.

Subsequently, Enrico Berlinguer, General Secretary of the Italian Communist Party in the 1970s and 1980s, used the term third way to advocate a vision of a socialist society which was more pluralist than the real socialism which was typically advocated by official communist parties whilst being more economically egalitarian than social democracy. This was part of the wider trend of Eurocommunism in the official communist movement and provided a theoretical basis for Berlinguer's pursuit of a Historic Compromise with the Italian Christian Democrats.[19]

Most significantly, Harold Macmillan, British Prime Minister from 1957 to 1963, based his philosophy of government on what he summarized in the 1938 book The Middle Way.

Modern usage

The Third Way has been defined as such:

[S]omething different and distinct from liberal capitalism with its unswerving belief in the merits of the free market and democratic socialism with its demand management and obsession with the state. The Third Way is in favour of growth, entrepreneurship, enterprise and wealth creation but it is also in favour of greater social justice and it sees the state playing a major role in bringing this about. So in the words of... Anthony Giddens of the LSE the Third Way rejects top down socialism as it rejects traditional neo liberalism.

— 1999 report from the BBC[20]

Usage by social democrats

A variant of the Third Way exists which approaches the centre from a social democratic perspective. It has been advocated by its proponents as an alternative to both capitalism and what it regards as the traditional forms of socialism, including Marxist and state socialism, that Third Way social democrats reject.[21] It advocates ethical socialism, reformism and gradualism that includes advocating the humanization of capitalism, a mixed economy, political pluralism and liberal democracy.[21]

It has been advocated by proponents as competition socialism, an ideology in between traditional socialism and capitalism.[22] Anthony Giddens, a prominent social democratic proponent of the Third Way, has publicly supported a modernized form of socialism within the social democracy movement, but he claims that traditional socialist ideology (referring to state socialism) that involves economic management and planning are flawed and states as a theory of the managed economy that socialism barely exists any longer.[23]

In defining the Third Way, Tony Blair once wrote: "The Third Way stands for a modernized social democracy, passionate in its commitment to social justice".[24]



Under the nominally centre-left Australian Labor Party (ALP) from 1983 to 1996, the Bob Hawke and Paul Keating governments pursued many economic policies associated with economic rationalism, such as floating the Australian Dollar in 1983, reductions in trade tariffs, taxation reforms, changing from centralized wage-fixing to enterprise bargaining, heavy restrictions on trade union activities including on strike action and pattern bargaining, the privatization of government-run services and enterprises such as Qantas and the Commonwealth Bank and wholesale deregulation of the banking system. Keating also proposed a Goods and Services Tax (GST) in 1985, but this was scrapped due to its unpopularity amongst both ALP and electorate. The party also desisted from other reforms such as wholesale labour market deregulation (e.g. WorkChoices), the eventual GST, the privatization of Telstra and welfare reform, including Work for the Dole which John Howard and the Liberal Party of Australia were to initiate after winning office in 1996.

Various ideological beliefs were factionalized under reforms to the ALP under Gough Whitlam, resulting in what is now known as the Labor Left, who tend to favour a more interventionist economic policy, more authoritative top-down controls and some socially progressive ideals; and Labor Right, the now dominant faction that is pro-business, more economically liberal and focuses to a lesser extent on social issues. The Whitlam government was first to use the term economic rationalism.[25] The Whitlam government from 1972 to 1975 changed from a democratic socialism platform to social democracy, their precursor to the party's Third Way policies. Under the Whitlam government, tariffs across the board were cut by 25 per cent after twenty-three years of Labor being in opposition.[26]

Former Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's first speech to parliament in 1998 stated:

Competitive markets are massive and generally efficient generators of economic wealth. They must therefore have a central place in the management of the economy. But markets sometimes fail, requiring direct government intervention through instruments such as industry policy. There are also areas where the public good dictates that there should be no market at all. We are not afraid of a vision in the Labor Party, but nor are we afraid of doing the hard policy yards necessary to turn that vision into reality. Parties of the Centre Left around the world are wrestling with a similar challenge—the creation of a competitive economy while advancing the overriding imperative of a just society. Some call this the "third way". The nomenclature is unimportant. What is important is that it is a repudiation of Thatcherism and its Australian derivatives represented opposite. It is in fact a new formulation of the nation's economic and social imperatives.[27]

Rudd was critical of free-market economists such as Friedrich Hayek.[28][29] However, Rudd described himself as "basically a conservative when it comes to questions of public financial management", pointing to his slashing of public service jobs as a Queensland governmental advisor.[30]


Matteo Renzi 2015.jpeg
The former Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is considered a Third Way politician

The Italian Democratic Party is a plural social democratic party including several distinct ideologic trends. Politicians such as former Prime Ministers Matteo Renzi and Romano Prodi are proponents of the Third Way.[31]

Under Renzi's secretariat, the Democratic Party took a strong stance in favour of constitutional reform and of a new electoral law on the road toward a two-party system.

It is not an easy task to find the exact political trend represented by Renzi and his supporters, who have been known as Renziani. The nature of Renzi's progressivism is a matter of debate and has been linked both to liberalism and populism.[32][32][33] According to Maria Teresa Meli of Corriere della Sera, Renzi "pursues a precise model, borrowed from the Labour Party and Bill Clinton's Democratic Party", comprising "a strange mix (for Italy) of liberal policy in the economic sphere and populism. This means that on one side he will attack the privileges of trade unions, especially of the CGIL, which defends only the already protected, while on the other he will sharply attack the vested powers, bankers, Confindustria and a certain type of capitalism".[34]

Renzi has occasionally been compared to former British Prime Minister Tony Blair for his political views.[35] Renzi himself has previously claimed to be as supporter of Blair's ideology of the Third Way, regarding an objective to synthesize liberal economics and left-wing social policies.[36][37]

United Kingdom

In 1938, Harold Macmillan wrote a book entitled The Middle Way, advocating a compromise between capitalism and socialism which was a precursor to the contemporary notion of the Third Way.[38]

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair is cited as a Third Way politician.[39][40] According to a former member of Blair's staff, Blair and the Labour Party learnt from and owes a debt to Bob Hawke's government in Australia in the 1980s on how to govern as a Third Way party.[41] Blair wrote in a Fabian pamphlet in 1994 of the existence of two prominent variants of socialism, namely one based on a Marxist–Leninist economic determinist and collectivist tradition and the other is an ethical socialism based on values of "social justice, the equal worth of each citizen, equality of opportunity, community".[42] Blair is a particular follower of the ideas and writings of Giddens[40] as was his successor Gordon Brown.

In 1998, Blair, then Labour leader and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, described the relation between social democracy and Third Way as the following:

The Third Way stands for a modernised social democracy, passionate in its commitment to social justice and the goals of the centre-left. [...] But it is a third way because it moves decisively beyond an Old Left preoccupied by state control, high taxation and producer interests; and a New Right treating public investment, and often the very notions of "society" and collective endeavour, as evils to be undone.[43]

In 2002, Anthony Giddens listed problems facing the New Labour government, naming spin as the biggest failure because its damage to the party's image was difficult to rebound from. He also challenged the failure of the Millennium Dome project and Labour's inability to deal with irresponsible businesses. Giddens saw Labour's ability to marginalise the Conservative Party as a success as well its economic policy, welfare reform and certain aspects of education. Giddens criticised what he called Labour's "half-way houses", including the National Health Service and environmental and constitutional reform.[44]

United States

Bill Clinton with Professor Anthony Giddens (Joint Chair), 2001
Two Third Way proponents: Professor Anthony Giddens and former United States President Bill Clinton

In the United States, Third Way adherents embrace fiscal conservatism to a greater extent than traditional economic liberals, advocate some replacement of welfare with workfare and sometimes have a stronger preference for market solutions to traditional problems (as in pollution markets) while rejecting pure laissez-faire economics and other libertarian positions. The Third Way style of governing was firmly adopted and partly redefined during the administration of President Bill Clinton.[45] The term Third Way was introduced by political scientist Stephen Skowronek.[46][47][48] Third Way Presidents "undermine the opposition by borrowing policies from it in an effort to seize the middle and with it to achieve political dominance". Examples of this are Richard Nixon’s economic policies which were a continuation of Lyndon B. Johnson's Great Society as well as Clinton’s welfare reform later.[49]

Clinton along with Blair, Prodi, Gerhard Schröder and other leading Third Way adherents organized conferences to promote the Third Way philosophy in 1997 at Chequers in England.[50][51] The Third Way think tank and the Democratic Leadership Council are adherents of Third Way politics.[52]

Other countries

Other leaders who have adopted elements of the Third Way style of governance include Gerhard Schröder of Germany, Wim Kok of the Netherlands,[53] António Guterres and José Sócrates of Portugal,[54][55] Ehud Barak of Israel,[56][57] David Lange, Roger Douglas and Helen Clark in New Zealand,[58][59] François Hollande, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Manuel Valls and Emmanuel Macron in France,[60][61][62][63] Costas Simitis in Greece,[64] Viktor Klima and Alfred Gusenbauer in Austria,[65] Ingvar Carlsson and Göran Persson in Sweden,[66][67] Paavo Lipponen in Finland,[67] Helle Thorning-Schmidt in Denmark,[68] Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun in South Korea,[69] Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin in Canada,[70] Ferenc Gyurcsány in Hungary,[71] Victor Ponta in Romania,[72] Leszek Miller and Marek Belka in Poland,[73] Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in Brazil,[74] Alan Garcia and Alejandro Toledo in Peru,[75] Thabo Mbeki in South Africa,[76] Muammar Gaddafi of Jamahiriya-era Libya [77][78] and Ricardo Lagos and Michelle Bachelet in Chile.[79]


After the dismantling of his country's Marxist–Leninist government, Czechoslovakia's conservative finance minister Václav Klaus declared in 1990: "We want a market economy without any adjectives. Any compromises with that will only fuzzy up the problems we have. To pursue a so-called 'third way' is foolish. We had our experience with this in the 1960s when we looked for a socialism with a human face. It did not work, and we must be explicit that we are not aiming for a more efficient version of a system that has failed. The market is indivisible; it cannot be an instrument in the hands of central planners".[80] In historical context, such proposals were better described as "liberalized centrally-planned socialism" rather than the "socially-sensitive capitalism" that Third Way policies tend to have been identified with in the West.

Left-wing opponents of the Third Way argue that it represents social democrats who responded to the New Right by accepting capitalism. The Third Way most commonly uses market mechanics and private ownership of the means of production and in that sense it is fundamentally capitalistic.[81] In addition to opponents who have noticed this, other reviews have claimed that Third Way social democrats adjusted to the political climate since the 1980s that favoured capitalism by recognizing that outspoken opposition to capitalism in these circumstances was politically nonviable and that accepting capitalism as the current powers that be and seeking to administer it to challenge laissez-faire capitalists was a more pressing immediate concern.[82]

Although close to New Labour and a key figure in the development of the Third Way, sociologist Anthony Giddens dissociated himself from many of the interpretations of the Third Way made in the sphere of day-to-day politics. For him, it was not a succumbing to neoliberalism or the dominance of capitalist markets.[83] The point was to get beyond both market fundamentalism and traditional top down socialism—to make the values of the centre-left count in a globalising world. He argued that "the regulation of financial markets is the single most pressing issue in the world economy" and that "global commitment to free trade depends upon effective regulation rather than dispenses with the need for it".[84]

In 2008, Charles Clarke, a former United Kingdom Home Secretary and the first senior Blairite to attack Prime Minister Gordon Brown openly and in print, stated: "We should discard the techniques of 'triangulation' and 'dividing lines' with the Conservatives, which lead to the not entirely unjustified charge that we simply follow proposals from the Conservatives or the right-wing media, to minimize differences and remove lines of attack against us".[85]

In 2013, American lawyer and former bank regulator William K. Black wrote that "Third Way is this group that pretends sometimes to be center-left but is actually completely a creation of Wall Street—it's run by Wall Street for Wall Street with this false flag operation as if it were a center-left group. It's nothing of the sort".[13][14][15]

Third Way and social capital

The shift towards a political discourse heavily influenced by social capital is observable comparing the 1979 and 1997 Labour Party manifestos (Ferragina and Arrigoni 2016).[86] In 1979, the Labour Party professed a complete adherence to social democratic ideals and rejected the choice between a "prosperous and efficient Britain" and a "caring and compassionate Britain" (Labour Party, 1979: 23). Coherent with this position, the main commitment of the party was the reduction of economic inequality via the introduction of a wealth tax (Labour Party, 1979: 1). In the 1990s, this agenda drastically changed with the progressive dismissal of traditional social democratic ideology. In particular, New Labour de-emphasized the need to tackle economic inequality and instead focused its political strategy on the expansion of opportunities for all, keeping public intervention in the market to a minimum. In this context, the aim to foster social capital creation by holding together the modernization of the state and the creation of stronger social ties became the flagship of New Labour (Ferragina and Arrigoni 2016: 5).[86]

This change of political orientation was based on a profound revision of social democratic principles. These principles were considered by New Labour to be an obstacle to the activation of evidence-based policy-making. In this context, the prevention of market failures which is targeting child poverty and educational disadvantage was preferred over the redistributive approach endorsed by the Labour Party during the 1970s. The new vision implied the full acceptance of market principles and pushed traditional social democratic values even further away. This ideological shift took place despite the fact that the period between 1979 and 1995 was characterized by the sharpest increase in economic inequality since World War II (Ferragina and Arrigoni 2016: 5).[86]

The importance attributed to the creation of social capital is symptomatic of New Labour's interest in civil society. This interest can be explained by the effect of growing individual freedom, fostered by economic and technological modernization, in a context where traditional forms of solidarity and interdependence are needed to prevent social disintegration, a social paradox already identified by the founding fathers of sociology. For this reason, New Labour considered the creation of social capital as a good antidote to the tension between traditional and modern values.

Tony Blair proposed to manage social change by unifying moral values, represented by the Tocquevillian quest for community and scientific evidence, used to inform evidence-based policy-making. According to Blair, the fusion of these two elements in the Third Way was the only remedy for the social paradox illustrated above. One could say as Émile Durkheim that during an age of modernization and transformation the values cultivated in secondary groups need to be universally accepted because they confer a human face to a society dominated by competition and the pursuit of efficiency. In this vision, the creation of social capital balances growing individualism with the need for interdependence, serving as a sort of glue to prevent modernization from heading towards societal disintegration. After merging social capital’s argument and the Third Way discourse (Giddens,1998), New Labour also bridged theory and practice through policy making at various levels, that is in education, health and neighbourhoods; and attempting to measure the direct impact of these reforms on social capital. In this context, the objective of creating social capital through the empowerment of families and communities and the decentralization of social services became one of the leading driving forces of New Labour's political action (Ferragina and Arrigoni 2016: 5).[86]

Weakening of Third Way

According to one article submitted in 2017 to open-contribution website Market Mogul, the Third Way movement was at its peak in the 1990s and 2000s, but it has since been on the decline and by 2017 it becomes clear that the ideology is not as popular as it used to be outside of established Third Way circles. Third Way economic policies began to be challenged following the Great Recession. The rise of right-wing populism has put the ideology into question. Many on the left have become more vocal in opposition to the Third Way, with the most prominent example in the United Kingdom being the rise of self-identified democratic socialist Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn. A large number of Third Way politicians have been either voted out of office or forced to change their positions due to the ideology's weakening base. However, the election of Emmanuel Macron as President of France in 2017 has given some hope to Third Way proponents.[87]

See also


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  87. ^ Mildren, William (5 June 2017). "Emmanuel Macron: Third Way Redux". The Market Mogul. Retrieved 15 April 2018.


External links

Anthony Giddens

Anthony Giddens, Baron Giddens (born 18 January 1938) is a British sociologist who is known for his theory of structuration and his holistic view of modern societies. He is considered to be one of the most prominent modern sociologists and the author of at least 34 books, published in at least 29 languages, issuing on average more than one book every year. In 2007, Giddens was listed as the fifth most-referenced author of books in the humanities.Four notable stages can be identified in his academic life. The first one involved outlining a new vision of what sociology is, presenting a theoretical and methodological understanding of that field based on a critical reinterpretation of the classics. His major publications of that era include Capitalism and Modern Social Theory (1971) and The Class Structure of the Advanced Societies (1973). In the second stage, Giddens developed the theory of structuration, an analysis of agency and structure in which primacy is granted to neither. His works of that period, such as New Rules of Sociological Method (1976), Central Problems in Social Theory (1979) and The Constitution of Society (1984), brought him international fame on the sociological arena. The third stage of Giddens's academic work was concerned with modernity, globalisation and poltics, especially the impact of modernity on social and personal life. This stage is reflected by his critique of postmodernity and discussions of a new "utopian-realist" Third Way in politics which is visible in the Consequences of Modernity (1990), Modernity and Self-Identity (1991), The Transformation of Intimacy (1992), Beyond Left and Right (1994) and The Third Way: The Renewal of Social Democracy (1998). Giddens' ambition was both to recast social theory and to re-examine our understanding of the development and trajectory of modernity.

In the most recent stage, Giddens has turned his attention to a more concrete range of problems relevant to the evolution of world society, namely environmental issues, focussing especially upon debates about climate change, analysed in successive editions of his book The Politics of Climate Change (2009); the role and nature of the European Union in Turbulent and Mighty Continent: What Future for Europe? (2014); and in a series of lectures and speeches also the nature and consequences of the Digital Revolution.

Giddens served as Director of the London School of Economics from 1997 to 2003, where he is now Emeritus Professor at the Department of Sociology. He is a Life Fellow of King’s College, Cambridge.

Computational physics

Computational physics is the study and implementation of numerical analysis to solve problems in physics for which a quantitative theory already exists. Historically, computational physics was the first application of modern computers in science, and is now a subset of computational science.

It is sometimes regarded as a subdiscipline (or offshoot) of theoretical physics, but others consider it an intermediate branch between theoretical and experimental physics, a third way that supplements theory and experiment.

Direction – Social Democracy

Direction – Social Democracy (Slovak: Smer – sociálna demokracia, Smer – SD) is a social-democratic political party in Slovakia. It is led by former Prime Minister of Slovakia Robert Fico. Smer-SD is the largest party in the National Council, with a plurality of 49 seats (out of 150) following the parliamentary Election held on 5 March 2016.

Graham Williamson

Graham Keith Williamson is a long-time political activist in the United Kingdom, having been active at the top levels of various far right groups including the National Front, the Third Way and Solidarity. Most recently, he is a leading member of the National Liberal Party which contested the 2014 European Parliament election with eight candidates in the London constituency election being held in May 2014.

Modern liberalism in the United States

Modern liberalism in the United States is the dominant version of liberalism in the United States. It combines ideas of civil liberty and equality with support for social justice and a mixed economy. According to Ian Adams, all American parties are "liberal and always have been. Essentially, they espouse classical liberalism—that is, a form of democratized Whig constitutionalism, plus the free market. The point of difference comes with the influence of social liberalism". Economically, modern American liberalism opposes cuts to the social safety net and supports a role for government in reducing inequality, providing education, ensuring access to healthcare, regulating economic activity and protecting the natural environment. This form of liberalism took shape in the 20th century United States as the franchise and other civil rights were extended to a larger class of citizens. Major examples include Theodore Roosevelt's New Nationalism, Woodrow Wilson's New Freedom, Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal, Harry S. Truman's Fair Deal, John F. Kennedy's New Frontier and Lyndon B. Johnson's Great Society.

In the first half of the 20th century, both major American parties had a conservative wing and a liberal wing. The conservative Northern Republicans and the conservative Southern Democrats formed the conservative coalition which dominated the Congress in the pre-Civil Rights era. As the Democratic Party under President Johnson began to support civil rights, the formerly Solid South, meaning solidly Democratic, became solidly Republican, except in districts with a large number of African-American voters. Starting in the 20th century, there has also been a sharp division between liberals who tend to live in denser, more heterogeneous communities and conservatives who tend to live in less dense, more homogeneous communities. Thus, liberals as a group are referred to as the left and conservatives the right. Since the 1960s, the Democratic Party is considered liberal and the Republican Party is considered conservative.

New Democrats

New Democrats, also called centrist Democrats, Clinton Democrats or moderate Democrats, are a moderate ideological faction within the Democratic Party. As the "Third Way" faction of the party, in addition to being socially moderate to liberal on social issues, they support free market-based economic policies. New Democrats dominated the party from the late-1980s through the mid-2010s.They are represented by organizations such as the New Democrat Network and the New Democrat Coalition.

New Labour

New Labour refers to a period in the history of the British Labour Party from the mid-1990s until 2010 under the leadership of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. The name dates from a conference slogan first used by the party in 1994, later seen in a draft manifesto which was published in 1996 and titled New Labour, New Life for Britain. It was presented as the brand of a newly reformed party that had altered Clause IV and endorsed market economics. The branding was extensively used while the party was in government between 1997 and 2010. New Labour was influenced by the political thinking of Anthony Crosland and the leadership of Blair and Brown as well as Peter Mandelson and Alastair Campbell's media campaigning. The political philosophy of New Labour was influenced by the party's development of Anthony Giddens' Third Way which attempted to provide a synthesis between capitalism and socialism. The party emphasised the importance of social justice, rather than equality, emphasising the need for equality of opportunity and believed in the use of markets to deliver economic efficiency and social justice.

The New Labour brand was developed to regain trust from the electorate and to portray a departure from their traditional social democratic policies which was criticised for its breaking of election promises and its links between trade unions and the state and to communicate the party's modernisation to the public. Following the leadership of Neil Kinnock and John Smith, the party under the New Labour brand attempted to widen its electoral appeal and by the 1997 general election it had made significant gains in the upper and middle-classes, effectively giving the party a landslide victory. Labour maintained this wider support at the 2001 general election and won a third consecutive victory in the 2005 general election for the first time ever in the history of the Labour Party.

In 2007, Blair resigned from the party leadership after thirteen years and was succeeded by his Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown. Labour lost the 2010 general election which resulted in the first hung parliament in thirty-six years and led to the creation of a Conservative–Liberal Democrat coalition government. Brown resigned as Prime Minister and as Labour Party leader shortly thereafter. He was succeeded as party leader by Ed Miliband, who abandoned the New Labour branding and moved the Labour Party's political stance further to the left. Miliband resigned in 2015 and was replaced by self-described democratic socialist Jeremy Corbyn, leading one MP to comment that New Labour is "dead and buried".

Patrick Harrington

Patrick Harrington (born 24 May 1964) is a British political activist and writer. He is currently general secretary of Solidarity – The Union for British Workers and a director of the Third Way, a think tank (since 1989).He is a committed and lifelong vegetarian. He has two children and lives in Edinburgh.


Progressivism is the support for or advocacy of social reform. As a philosophy, it is based on the idea of progress, which asserts that advancements in science, technology, economic development and social organization are vital to the improvement of the human condition.

Salam Fayyad

Salam Fayyad (Arabic: سلام فياض‎, Salām Fayāḍ; born 2 April 1951) is a Palestinian politician and former Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority and Finance Minister.

He was Finance Minister from June 2002 to November 2005 and from March 2007 to May 2012. Fayyad was Prime Minister between June 2007 and June 2013.

Fayyad resigned from the cabinet in November 2005 to run as founder and leader of the new Third Way party for the legislative elections of 2006. The party was not successful, and Fayyad returned as Finance Minister in the March 2007 Unity Government. Fayyad's first appointment as Prime Minister on 15 June 2007, which was justified by Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas on the basis of "national emergency", was not confirmed by the Palestinian Legislative Council. His successor, Rami Hamdallah, was named on 2 June 2013.Fayyad was popular in the West for his reform of the financial system within the Palestinian Authority.

Social democracy

Social democracy is a political, social and economic philosophy that supports economic and social interventions to promote social justice within the framework of a liberal democratic polity and a capitalist mixed economy. The protocols and norms used to accomplish this involve a commitment to representative and participatory democracy, measures for income redistribution and regulation of the economy in the general interest and welfare state provisions. In this way, social democracy aims to create the conditions for capitalism to lead to greater democratic, egalitarian and solidaristic outcomes. Due to longstanding governance by social democratic parties during the post-war consensus and their influence on socioeconomic policy in the Nordic countries, social democracy has become associated in policy circles with the Nordic model in the latter part of the 20th century.Social democracy originated as a political ideology that advocated an evolutionary and peaceful transition from capitalism to socialism using established political processes in contrast to the revolutionary approach to transition associated with orthodox Marxism. In the early post-war era in Western Europe, social democratic parties rejected the Stalinist political and economic model then current in the Soviet Union, committing themselves either to an alternative path to socialism or to a compromise between capitalism and socialism. In this period, social democrats embraced a capitalist mixed economy based on the predominance of private property, with only a minority of essential utilities and public services under public ownership. As a result, social democracy became associated with Keynesian economics, state interventionism and the welfare state while abandoning the prior goal of replacing the capitalist system (factor markets, private property and wage labour) with a qualitatively different socialist economic system. With the rise of popularity for neoliberalism and the New Right by the 1980s, most social democratic parties incorporated Third Way ideology which aims to fuse liberal economics with social democratic welfare policies. By the 2010s, the Third Way had generally fallen out of favour.

Modern social democracy is characterized by a commitment to policies aimed at curbing inequality, oppression of underprivileged groups and poverty, including support for universally accessible public services like care for the elderly, child care, education, health care and workers' compensation. The social democratic movement often has strong connections with the labour movement and trade unions which are supportive of collective bargaining rights for workers as well as measures to extend decision-making beyond politics into the economic sphere in the form of co-determination for employees and other economic stakeholders.

Social market economy

The social market economy (SOME; German: soziale Marktwirtschaft), also called Rhine capitalism, is a socioeconomic model combining a free market capitalist economic system alongside social policies that establish both fair competition within the market and a welfare state. It is sometimes classified as a coordinated market economy. The social market economy was originally promoted and implemented in West Germany by the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) under Chancellor Konrad Adenauer in 1949. Its origins can be traced to the interwar Freiburg school of economic thought.The social market economy was designed to be a third way between laissez-faire economic liberalism and socialist economics. It was strongly inspired by ordoliberalism, social democratic ideas and the political ideology of Christian democracy, or more generally the tradition of Christian ethics. The social market economy refrains from attempts to plan and guide production, the workforce, or sales, but it does support planned efforts to influence the economy through the organic means of a comprehensive economic policy coupled with flexible adaptation to market studies. Combining monetary, credit, trade, tax, customs, investment and social policies as well as other measures, this type of economic policy aims to create an economy that serves the welfare and needs of the entire population, thereby fulfilling its ultimate goal.The "social" segment is often wrongly confused with socialism and democratic socialism and although aspects were inspired by the latter the social market approach rejects the socialist ideas of replacing private property and markets with social ownership and economic planning. The "social" element to the model instead refers to support for the provision of equal opportunity and protection of those unable to enter the free market labor force because of old-age, disability, or unemployment.Some authors use the term "social capitalism" with roughly the same meaning as social market economy. It is also called "Rhine capitalism", typically when contrasting it with the Anglo-Saxon model of capitalism. Rather than see it as an antithesis, some authors describe Rhine capitalism as a successful synthesis of the Anglo-American model with social democracy. The German model is also contrasted and compared with other economic models, some of which are also described as "third ways" or regional forms of capitalism, including Tony Blair's Third Way, French dirigisme, the Dutch polder model, the Nordic model, Japanese corporate capitalism and the contemporary Chinese model. A 2012 comparative politics textbook distinguishes between the "conservative-corporatist welfare state" (arising from the German social market economy) and the "labor-led social democratic welfare state". The concept of the model has since been expanded upon into the idea of an eco-social market economy as not only taking into account the social responsibility of humanity, but also the sustainable use and protection of natural resources.

Socialist Party

Socialist Party is the name of many different political parties around the world. All of these parties claim to uphold some form of socialism, though they may have very different interpretations of what "socialism" means. Statistically, most of these parties advocate either democratic socialism, social democracy or even Third Way as their ideological position. Many Socialist Parties have explicit connections to the labour movement and trade unions. See also Socialist International, list of democratic socialist parties and organizations and list of social democratic parties. A number of affiliates of the Trotskyist Committee for a Workers' International also use the name "Socialist Party".

This list only includes parties that use the exact name "Socialist Party" for themselves, sometimes alongside the name of the country in which they operate. The list does not include political parties that use the word "Socialist" in addition to one or more other political adjectives in their names. For example, the numerous parties using the name "Socialist Workers' Party" are not included.

Syncretic politics

Syncretic politics, or spectral-syncretic, refers to politics that combine elements from across the conventional left–right political spectrum. The term "syncretic politics" has been derived from the idea of syncretism (syncretic religion). The main idea of syncretic politics is that taking political positions of neutrality by combining elements associated with the left and right can achieve a goal of reconciliation. Since this umbrella term is defined by the combination of the two standard poles of a given one-dimensional political spectrum, it refers to quite heterogeneous approaches.

Third Way (Palestinian authority)

The Third Way (Arabic: الطريق الثالث‎ aṭ-Ṭarīq ath-Thālith) is a small centrist Palestinian political party active in the Palestinian National Authority (PNA). Founded on 16 December 2005, the party was led by Salam Fayyad and Hanan Ashrawi. The party presents itself as an alternative to the two-party system of Hamas and Fatah.

In the January 2006 PLC elections the party received 2.41% of the popular vote and won two of the Council's 132 seats. After the disappointing election results, the party disappeared from the Palestinian arena, but in July 2015 party leaders held a series of meetings in Ramallah and Hebron to discuss the party's ability to reactivate its platform and return.

Third Way (United States)

Third Way is a Washington, D.C.–based public policy think tank founded in 2005. The think tank develops political and policy ideas, conducts public opinion research and hosts an array of public events, issues briefings, etc. The organization has four policy divisions: Economics, National Security, Clean Energy and Social Policy & Politics. Third Way develops and advocates for policies that it says represent the "modern center-left ideas".Third Way was honored as 2013 North American Think Tank of the Year by Prospect, a British monthly current affairs magazine, for its "original, influential, and rigorous work on the most pressing challenges facing people, governments, and businesses". The think tank's supporters and advocates include Democratic politicians, other center-left think tanks and individual donors. Third Way's funding also partially comes from philanthropies, foundations and personal donations. In the past decade, Third Way has been directly involved in policy issues such as the benefits of energy innovation, student accountability measures under the Every Student Succeeds Act, deficit reduction, proposals to reform Medicare and Medicaid, the repeal of "Don't ask, don't tell" and new trade accords with Korea, Colombia and Panama.

Ulster Third Way

The Ulster Third Way was the Northern Ireland branch of the Third Way and was organised by David Kerr, who had previously campaigned as an 'independent Unionist' (chairing the small North Belfast Independent Unionist Association) as well as for the British National Front. It followed an Ulster nationalist ideology.

Ulster nationalism

Ulster nationalism is a school of thought in Northern Ireland politics that seeks the independence of Northern Ireland from the United Kingdom without joining the Republic of Ireland, thereby becoming an independent sovereign state separate from both.

Independence has been supported by groups such as Ulster Third Way and some factions of the Ulster Defence Association. However, it is a fringe view in Northern Ireland. It is neither supported by any of the political parties represented in the Northern Ireland Assembly nor by the government of the United Kingdom or the government of the Republic of Ireland.

Although the term Ulster traditionally refers to one of the four traditional provinces of Ireland which contains Northern Ireland as well as parts of the Republic of Ireland, the term is often used within unionism and Ulster loyalism (from which Ulster nationalism originated) to refer to Northern Ireland.

There has been a number of proposals in terms of the government including the Republic of Northern Ireland which will be led by a President, Vice-President, Chief Secretary and Solicitor-General as the leaders of State and Government. Some also claim that in the Republic proposal there will be devolved state governments.

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