第三の道とその批判 単行本 – 2003/11
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The idea of finding a 'third way' in politics has become a focus of discussion across the world. Political leaders, in the US, Europe, Asia and Latin America claim to be following its principles. Yet the notion has also attracted much criticism. Some say it is an empty concept without any real content. Critics from the more traditional left argue that it is a betrayal of left-wing ideals.
Anthony Giddens's The Third Way (Polity Press, 1998) is regarded by many as the key text of third way politics. Translated into twenty-five languages, it has shaped the development of the third way. In this new book Giddens responds to the critics, and further develops the ideas set out in his earlier volume. Far from being unable to deal with inequalities of wealth and power, he shows, third way politics offers the only feasible approach to these issues. The work is indispensable for anyone who wants to understand the most important political debate going on today.
Anthony Giddens is the Director of the London School of Economics and Political Science. He is the author or editor of over thirty books. His previous works, especially Beyond Left and Right (Polity Press, 1994) have influenced debates about the future of social democracy in many countries across the world. Frequently referred to in the UK as Tony Blair's guru, Giddens has made a strong impact on the evolution of New Labour. --このテキストは、ペーパーバック版に関連付けられています。
Giddens points out that national governments are limited by historical developments in how far they can manage economic life and provide social benefits. His ideas are taken seriously by political leaders like Blair and Clinton.
Others, however, remain distinctly unimpressed. This book has been written to answer those critics (and I must declare I'm proud to be numbered amongst them). The best of his critics come from the Left. Our main point is that his third way would leave power and wealth relations largely unaffected and that he is pursuing an agenda dictated by multi-national corporations. Does Giddens answer his critics? The answer I would give is a qualified yes. Whilst stressing the benefits of a market economy he recognises the tension that exists between it and "other life values". He suggests some interesting reforms aimed at balancing seemingly contradictory trends.Curiously, however, he has little to say on empowering people in their working lives. The creativity and energy he wants to harness for civic work is to go to waste in the workplace. His desire to get people active in voluntary work and politics does not extend to making them more active participants in workplace decisions (where a great deal of their life is actually spent). This is a great pity. I would like to see Giddens comment more on workers trusts and co-operative ventures.
This book is worth reading because it is part of the process of a debate which is vital. It is not, however, by any means a final statement. The critics still have much to say.
Third way is an interesting topic and it would be fascinating to read an in-depth and impartial analysis of how it has grown up. This book is not that, though it never claimed to be. It is essentially written as an accessible, lucid account for the layman, which it succeeds at, and simultaneously a refutation of criticisms, which it is possible less successful with. It doesn't really engage with the most basic objections to the very idea of what seems a compromising, vote-seeking formula of the power hungry who have been forced to accept ideas fundamentally at odds with those they are heir to, leading to a valiant but ultimately unconvincing attempt to portray them as one and the same.
I won't pass judgement on third way thinking or Blair, though, as that's not really the object of writing reviews. What I would say is this is a worthwhile and interesting volume if you want a brief but relatively comprehensive (at a basic level) case for the third way.
Tony Giddens offers a concise, but clear, discussion of what the Third Way is all about, and if a reader approaches the text with a willingness to think outside of the left-right consciousness, then it offers a significant contribution to new thinking about politics. It reconceptualizes politics as the continual reconciliation of the failure of governments and markets. It is, at its simplest, about appreciating that meaningful political thinking requires reflexivity and a willingness to change opinions and policies as circumstances change around us. It is not about selling-out to the capitalists; it is not about tax-and-spend politics. This is a book about solutions.
Much of this THIN tome is spent on self-evident bromides. Environmental degradation = bad. Solidarity = good. The distinction between left and right ain't what it used to be. You don't say! The rest is taken up by pious good intentions about social democracy renewing itself. Any second-rate political speech writer could've come up with roughly the same set of homilies.
Giddens is a brilliant sociologist, but this book never gets off the ground. It's too bad, really, because Blair style new-new-leftism really could use a coherent defense from a skilfull theorist. Instead, what it gets out of this book is a half baked homily that betrays an alarming degree of political naivete for such an eminent social scientists. It's a mess, really.