The "Third Way". Positive Welfare, the Schröder-Blair-Paper and Criticism of the Concept

Presentation (Elaboration) 2011 11 Pages

Politics - Political Systems - General and Comparisons



1. Positive Welfare (Anthony Giddens)

2. TheSchröder-Blair-Paper

3. Criticism (Barkan, Butterwegge)

4. Discussion


1. Positive Welfare Anthony Giddens

- advisor of Tony Blair
- author of „The Third Way"

Positive Welfare

- the state must provide a basic income
- state supports self-responsibility
- increasing benefits can cause moral hazard changed social habits

Asocial investment state instead of welfare state

2. The Schröder-Blair-Paper


- modernization of Social Democrats led to political success
- market economy but not a market society

Learning from Experience

- social justice * equality of outcome
- helping people to help themselves is more important than public spending
-> the weaknesses of markets have been overstated and their strengths underestimated

The Schröder-Blair-Paper

New Programs for Changed Realities

- useless of left-right thinking
- ideology = preconceptions which prevent pragmatic solutions
- investments in human capital
- jobs are limited in time -> more flexibility necessary
- cutbacks and reformations in the public sector
- end of the conflict between capital and labour

A New Supply-Side Agenda for the Left

- creation of jobs -> guarantee of a cohesive society -

liberalization of world trade

- taxcuts for companies
- welfare-to-work programs
- reduction of non-wage labour costs
- flexibilisation of products, capital and labour markets
- lifelong education
- support of medium-sized enterprises

An Active Labour Market Policy for the Left

- transformation of the safety net of entitlements into a springboard to personal responsibility
- modernization of the health care and pension system - qualifications for the unemployed
- part-time and low-paid work
- establishment of a low-wage sector

3. Criticism (Barkan, Butterwegge)

- left-right-thinking makes sense
- (some) equality of outcome is implied by social justice
- lots of empty phrases / missing characterizations
- jobs might be limited
- no words about people'yights
- compulsion to work
- not clear how the conception will be financed
- destroys the solidarity between the working and the unemployed
- some members of society aren'table to help themselves
- unequal treatment of capital and labour



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University of Marburg – Institut für Politikwissenschaft
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third way tony blair social democracy barkan butterwegge criticism schröder

Title: The "Third Way". Positive Welfare, the Schröder-Blair-Paper and Criticism of the Concept