New Labour is the most innovative and powerful political movement in Britain today. However, New Labour: A critique argues that its apparent pragmatism disguises an ideological commitment to particular forms of social science, deploying new institutionalism and communitarianism to respond to the New Right. Mark Bevir traces the impact of these forms of social science on the ideas and policies of New Labour, paying particular attention to the welfare state and the economy. New Labour, the new institutionalism and communitarianism typically objectify aspects of the social world to sustain claims to expert knowledge.
Mark Bevir defends and enacts an alternative, interpretive approach to social science. This interpretive approach inspires a critique of New Labour as a contingent reworking of a particular socialist tradition rather than the necessary or pragmatic response that it portrays itself as. Key content includes: . Social science - a historical and philosophical critique . Institutionalism and communitarianism - impact on centre left think-tanks .- The Welfare State and economic policy New Labour: A Critique explores diverse traditions of British socialism, which could open the way to radical alternatives to New Labour based on participation, pluralism and dialogue.