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Third Way conservatism? The Popular Party and labour relations in Spain

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Third Way policies are generally understood as policy shifts towards the centre implemented by traditionally leftist parties in government. This article argues that Third Way policies can also be the preferred policy course of conservative governments. The conservative Popular Party (PP) government under José María Aznar in Spain is used as an illustrative case study. The article focuses on labour relations to establish the existence of Third Way policies in Spain and links them to the strategies that unions have developed in their attempt to recover lost ground. The article posits that the specific contents of the Third Way policies in Spain, coupled with the policy continuity between the PSOE and PP governments, provided a relatively stable institutional industrial relations framework. This allowed unions to develop new strategies that were able to halt their decline and regain some strength lost during the 1980s.
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Keywords: Aznar; Spain; Third Way; industrial relations; political parties; unions

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Central Florida, Orlando.

Publication date: September 1, 2005

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  • The International Journal of Iberian Studies (IJIS) is the academic journal for scholars from around the world whose research focuses on contemporary Spain and Portugal from a range of disciplinary perspectives. IJIS is interested in history (20th century onwards), government and politics; foreign policy and international relations.
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