Chapter

The good state

Julia Gallagher

in Britain and Africa Under Blair

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780719085000
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781702253 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719085000.003.0007
The good state

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This book has argued that the creation of a good project formed an important part of protecting the state from internal ambiguity and decay, by creating a utopian core at the heart of what it does. The 1980s had shifted Britain's conceptions of state, class and society. In embracing key elements of the neo-liberal state remit of Thatcherism, Tony Blair and New Labour had to relinquish the grander liberalism traditionally articulated by the Party and central to its conception of itself. Labour felt itself to be inheriting a damaged state. This chapter examines how this damage to the state has been expressed, and two potential ways it might be mended. The first involves the embrace of more transcendent or romantic conceptions of a higher good—in the expression of universal values like human rights and democracy—which might enable the state to create a link for itself with a new authority of the good. The second sees a state attempt to transform politics—by making and identifying itself with the good.

Keywords: state; Britain; Tony Blair; New Labour; good; human rights; democracy; politics

Chapter.  10011 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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