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The role of political concepts in the transformation of the Labour Party 1987-1997.

Landau, Alexander (2008) The role of political concepts in the transformation of the Labour Party 1987-1997. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

This research attempts to provide an analysis of the Labour Party's transformation between 1987 and 1997 that emphasises the role of ideas in this change. Founded on the notion that ideas are expressed through political concepts, the study takes concepts as its central analytical unit to illustrate the importance of ideas in change. It draws on theories of conceptual change to suggest that political transformation is always accompanied by conceptual transformation, which in tum offers an attendant role for ideas in such cases of change. The study seeks to document the Labour Party's application of important political concepts during the period, such as opportunity, justice, community, responsibility and globalisation. These concepts were applied by the Party in addressing fundamental issues within its political approach, such as the distribution of resources in society, the inter-relationship between its members, and the changing context within which such responses must be framed. It is suggested that the changing application of the concepts in addressing such elements of Labour's broader approach - as evident in official Party documents, and the articles and speeches of its leading members represented an important ideational element informing its changing trajectory during the decade in question. As such, the research frames a narrative of Labour's development that highlights an evolution of ideas in the Party's attempt to adapt its approach to an ever-changing context. The contention is that such an evolution was significant in accompanying the Party's altered approach throughout the period, and that this ideational element is often overlooked, underplayed or misrepresented by the existing literature in accounting for this transformation. It is suggested that only by understanding this consistent significance of ideas can a complete account of the changing Labour Party be framed.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > Politics (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.490186
Depositing User: EThOS Import Sheffield
Date Deposited: 26 Jan 2017 16:26
Last Modified: 26 Jan 2017 16:26
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/14939

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