Beyond Left and Right: The Future of Radical Politics

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Stanford University Press, 1994 - Political Science - 276 pages
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How should one understand the nature and possibilities of political radicalism today? The political radical is normally thought of as someone who stands on the left, opposing backward-looking conservatism. In the present day, however, the left has turned defensive, while the right has become radical, advocating the free play of market forces no matter what obstacles of tradition or custom stand in their way. What explains such a curious twist of perspective? In answering this question, Giddens develops a new framework for radical politics, drawing on what he calls "philosophic conservatism, " but applying this outlook in the service of values normally associated with the left. The ecological crisis is at the core of this analysis, but is understood by Giddens in an unconventional way - as a response to a world in which modernity has run up against its limits as a social and moral order. The end of nature, as an entity existing independently of human intervention, and the end of tradition, combined with the impact of globalization, are the forces which now have to be confronted, made use of and coped with. This book provides a powerful interpretation of the rise of fundamentalism, of democracy, the persistence of gender divisions and the question of a normative political theory of violence. It will be essential reading for anyone seeking a novel approach to the political challenges we face at the turn of the twenty-first century.
 

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Contents

Socialism conservatism and neoliberalism
8
the question of agency
20
the Retreat from Radicalism
51
The Social Revolutions of our Time
78
Two Theories of Democratization
104
Contradictions of the Welfare State
134
Generative Politics and Positive Welfare
151
Positive Welfare Poverty and Life Values
174
Issues and Life Politics
198
living in and with it
208
The order of highconsequence risks
219
Conclusion
227
Questions of Agency and Values
246
Notes
254
Index
263
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Models of Democracy
David Held
Limited preview - 2006
Spatial Formations
Nigel Thrift
No preview available - 1996
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About the author (1994)

Anthony Giddens, a British sociologist, was educated at Hull, the London School of Economics, and Cambridge, and is a fellow of King's College, Cambridge. His interests have been varied, but they tend to focus on questions related to the macro-order. Much of his theoretical writing deals with stratification, class, and modernity. Although he has concentrated on dynamic issues of social structure, he has also examined how social psychological concerns are part of this broader order of human relations.

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