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Title: Towards an enabling state? Work and employment in state-citizen relations in England 1880-2007
Authors: Fitchett, Michael
Keywords: Citizenship
Labour Party
New Deal
Welfare to work
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: © Michael Fitchett
Abstract: This study represents the intellectual biography of an idea. That idea is the Welfare to Work regime of the New Labour government of Tony Blair over the period 1997 to 2007. This Welfare to Work regime is situated within a concept of an Enabling State developed in speeches by New Labour Ministers, particularly Blair, Gordon Brown, David Blunkett and the brothers Ed and David Miliband. The study elaborates the concept of 'enabling', traces its origins back, partly to the debates at Putney at the end of the English Civil War, partly through working-class history, and partly through the transformation of Gladstonian Liberalism wrought by New Liberals such as T.H. Green, L.T. Hobhouse and J.A. Hobson between 1880 and 1914. lt will argue that New Labour can be understood only by reference back to these origins. The study will also define the Enabling State by defining its opposite, the Disabling State created, albeit unintentionally, by the Conservatives between 1979 and 1997. The study employs a subset of Discourse Analysis, Speech Act Theory, to study the Labour speeches, since there has yet not been elaborated a 'theory of the Enabling State'. A participant observation is also employed to discuss how 'enabling' works at the level of individuals. The study is an attempt to 'read history backwards' as it were: to define the enabling state as it exists now, at least at the level of rhetoric, and then, as practical history, to trace lead ideas back to their sources, and to find antecedents: not cause and effect, for that is too difficult, but to find practices, traditions, concepts and discourse on which New Labour have been able to draw. This study will argue that, far from abandoning traditional Labour values, New Labour has found new ways to realise them.
Description: A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/13651
Appears in Collections:PhD Theses (Politics and International Studies)

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