New Labour's grassroots : the transformation of the Labour Party membership /
Patrick Seyd and Paul Whiteley.
Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire ; New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2002.
xxii, 206 p. : ill.
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Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire ; New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2002.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
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About the Author
Author Affiliation
Patrick Seyd is Professor of Politics and Director of the Institute for the Study of Political Parties at the University of Sheffield.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2003-01-01:
Seyd (Univ. of Sheffield) and Whiteley (Univ. of Essex) offer a highly professional study of the political attitudes of members of the British Labour Party during the 1990s, a period when the party leadership moved the party's guiding doctrines away from traditional socialism and toward a centrist "new Labour" program. Party members, who pay dues, are only a fraction of party voters, numbering fewer than half a million, and while they are constitutionally significant in the management of the Labour Party, they are not the UK equivalent to the millions of self-identified partisans typically polled in surveys of the American electorate. The study's main findings show that the party's move to the center has strained the loyalty and the enthusiasm of the active core of members, who cling to more redistributionist principles. No thorough analysis of trends in British party politics can afford to ignore these signs of continuing tension on the Left between the old-time religion and the undoubted overall popularity of the Kinnock-Smith-Blair modernization. Recommended for upper-division undergraduates and above. N. W. Polsby University of California, Berkeley
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Choice, January 2003
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Description for Bookstore
Based on a unique series of surveys conducted during the 1990s, this book examines changes in the social backgrounds, attitudes, beliefs, and political activities of Labor party members. It addresses questions such as: What do Labor party members think of New Labor and its policies? How important are the members to the party? Are they becoming more or less active over time? Can the party dispense with its membership and still remain viable?
Table of Contents
List of Figuresp. ix
List of Tablesp. xi
Introduction: Party Transformationp. xv
The Blair Project: Setting the Contextp. 1
Preparing for government: the Kinnock reforms, 1983-1992p. 4
Preparing for government: the Smith interregnum, 1992-1994p. 6
Preparing for government: the Blair reforms, 1994-1997p. 8
Political objectives and commitmentsp. 9
The Labour government, 1997-2001p. 13
Organizational reforms in the Labour Partyp. 19
Attitudes to the Blair governmentp. 26
The Grassroots Members: Who Are They?p. 31
The recruitment and growth of the membershipp. 31
A demographic profile of party membersp. 34
'Old' and 'new' Labour Party membersp. 40
Labour members and voters in 1997p. 44
The Grassroots: What Do They Believe?p. 49
The political attitudes of party membersp. 50
Party strategyp. 59
Law and orderp. 62
Post-materialismp. 65
Europep. 69
Labour members, activists and votersp. 73
What Do They Do?p. 77
The contact dimension of activityp. 78
The campaigning dimension of activityp. 82
The representation dimension of activityp. 83
Donating money and party activityp. 85
Explaining the decline in activismp. 89
The general incentives modelp. 89
The evidence for the general incentives theoryp. 93
Changing incentives for activismp. 105
Conclusionsp. 108
Activism and Campaigning in the New Labour Partyp. 111
Introductionp. 111
Debates about campaign effects in 1997p. 114
The evidence on local campaigns in 1997p. 117
Modelling the effects of campaigning on the vote in 1997p. 121
Simulating the influence of campaigning on the seats wonp. 133
Discussion and conclusionsp. 135
The Simulation Modelp. 136
What Do the Members Think of the Party and the Government?p. 139
Introductionp. 139
Members' images of the Labour Party, 1990 to 1999p. 140
Voters' images of the Labour Party, 1987 to 1997p. 148
Members' attitudes to the modernization strategyp. 150
Members' attitudes to their own role in the party organizationp. 156
Members' perceptions of the performance of Labour in officep. 160
Conclusionsp. 166
Conclusionsp. 167
The key findings and their implicationsp. 168
Future models of party organizationp. 170
The decline in Labour's core electoral support in 2001p. 177
Labour's futurep. 181
Conclusionsp. 184
Appendixp. 187
Notesp. 189
Bibliographyp. 193
Indexp. 199
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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