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Political Ideas – Giddens and the Third Way

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About this Course

About the Course

In this course, Dr Matt Dawson (Glasgow University) explores the political ideas of Anthony Giddens. We begin with some context on the life and works of Anthony Giddens, before moving on in the second lecture to explore the history of socialism and social democracy in Britain. This offers useful context for the eventual advent of Tony Blair and the beginning of New Labour and the ‘Third Way’. In the third lecture, we outline the key ideas of Giddens’s 1994 work ‘Beyond Left and Right’, in particular his critique of the contemporary left, before exploring in the fourth lecture Giddens’s 1998 work ‘The Third Way’. We focus on the key policies Giddens advocates for in this work, before moving on in the fifth lecture to analyse the extent to which the policies of New Labour reflected Giddens’s notion of the Third Way. We round off in the sixth lecture with some criticisms of the Third Way and a few closing comments on its legacy.

About the Lecturer

Dr Matt Dawson is the Head of Sociology at Glasgow University. His research focuses on questions of normativity, socialism and politics, and in 2016 he published 'Social Theory for Alternative Societies'. He teaches and has written extensively on the work of Zygmunt Bauman.