'Thin Labourism': Ideological and policy comparisons between the Australian, British and New Zealand labour parties

Rob Manwaring, Grant Duncan, Charlie Lees

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Centre–left political parties are undergoing an identity crisis. This article is a comparative analysis of how the three sister labour parties in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand are refurbishing their agendas. We integrate Barrientos and Powell’s framework, with Freeden’s concept of ideological morphology, to systematically map the three parties across three main domains: their discourse and values, their political economy, and their social policy agendas. We then apply four different analytical frames to better understand the ideological and policy trajectories of our cases. These frames comprise ‘values, not ideology’, ‘quietism’, ‘third way’, and ‘thin labourism’. We argue that the frame of ‘thin labourism’ best captures the recent developments of these modern labour parties. In sum, the parties are still rooted in a recognisable centre–left tradition, but they operating from a narrower base of core values.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-61
Number of pages23
JournalBritish Journal of Politics and International Relations
Volume26
Issue number1
Early online date28 Jan 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024

Keywords

  • comparative
  • ideology
  • labour
  • morphology
  • social democracy

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