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Active citizenship: navigating the Conservative heartlands of the New Labour project

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This article develops a distinct perspective on the continuities and contrasts between Thatcherite Conservatism and New Labour, interpreted through active citizenship policy. Revisiting Thatcherism, it argues that the roots of the New Labour approach to active citizenship can be traced to the late-Thatcher period. It explores six facets of New Labour's agenda, arguing in each case that there were affinities with Conservatism. These affinities further highlight continuities in the 'social dimension' of an ongoing hegemonic project, whose objective is to overcome the 'weak citizenship' characteristic of neoliberalism by mobilising citizen assent. Judged against this benchmark, the project may have had only limited success.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 2012

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