A discursive enquiry into the political economy of new labour: is it a rupture from or a perpetuation of neoliberal hegemony?

Savaş, Efe
From the 1980’s onwards a new conceptual framework which will be subsequently called neoliberalism has become hegemonic by transforming and redefining the common sense. In the midst of the world economic crisis in the 1970s which would bring the collapse of Keynesian paradigm, a new political culture promoting the superiority of market-based order has started to emerge. Subsequently during the 1980s, by establishing ‘market-oriented society’ as the new dominant paradigm, neoliberal hegemony has realized furher seperation of ‘economics’ from the ‘politics.’ In this respect, regarding the implementation of neoliberal policies, Great Britain can be considered as a prime example. During the last three decades, political atmosphere of Great Britain has to a large extent been shaped under the influence of neoliberal hegemony that has engendered a significant paradigm shift in the country’s political economy. Meanwhile in the rapidly changing political atmosphere of 1980’s and 1990’s, British Labour Party has also gone through a gradual ideological transformation that culminated in the emergence of New Labour. Despite its initial claim to novelty, since New Labour is itself an actor that is formed during the hegemony of neoliberalism, its possible affiliation with the neoliberal paradigm deserves attention. In this sense, in order to analyse its affiliation with the neoliberal hegemony, this thesis attempts to develop a discursive enquiry into the political economy of New Labour. Consequently, by relying on remarkable findings which indicate the commonalities between New Labour and neoliberalism, this thesis advocates that although being different from the initial neoliberal stance of ‘Thatcherism’, New Labour perpetuates neoliberal hegemony insofar it takes neoliberal political economy’s basic premises as for granted.


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Citation Formats
E. Savaş, “ A discursive enquiry into the political economy of new labour: is it a rupture from or a perpetuation of neoliberal hegemony?,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2009.