By Tony Fitzpatrick

Social democracy has made a political comeback lately, specially less than the impact of the 3rd approach. even if, now not every body in convinces that 3rd manner social democracy is the easiest technique of reviving the Left's venture. This ebook explains why and provides an alternate method. Bringing jointly quite a number social and political theories this booklet engages with one of the most very important modern debates concerning the current path and way forward for the Left.

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Therefore equality is not only material, it is also civic and civic egalitarianism requires that free riding be kept to a minimum through appropriate policies. So, for instance, this is what renders the proposal for an unconditional Basic Income (BI) unjustifiable (Fitzpatrick, 1999a), though White (1996) gives BI a qualified support nevertheless, because it may contain some reciprocity-friendly effects (cf. Elster, 1998). Miller (1999: 234) argues that need cannot be the only metric of justice.

Second, it treats dependency upon the state as the main problem. g. upon the labour market and upon the family. Third, it identifies the welfare state as the essential problem rather than the welfare state’s market environment. The NSD’s solution is then to make the benefit system more selectivist and conditional in order to adapt it to the very flexible and polarised labour market which is the real origin of most social problems. Social participation is equated with participation in employment, neglecting the informal sector and the unpaid forms of work that lie outside the wage contract and so marginalising the contribution that domestic labour (still predominantly performed by women) makes to national and global wealth.

First, the pragmatism of the NSD demands that social policies are strongly oriented to expediency and political strategies that adapt to electoral preferences which are held to be given and substantially unalterable (Heffernan, 2000: 119–38). Therefore, second, the electoral middle ground must be captured rather than reconfigured, by not alienating those who aspire to more affluence. The fear is that fair reciprocity would contradict the principle of meritocracy. Finally, the retention of unequal patterns of distribution is TZP2 4/25/2005 4:50 PM Page 39 Justice and citizenship 39 necessary since, otherwise, New Labour would be challenging the deregulated capitalism to which it has reconciled itself and from which it supposedly derives its appeal.

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