Conserving the Left

Reflections on Norberto Bobbio, Anthony Giddens and the Left-Right Distinction

in Theoria
Author: Kate Soper
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In a brief exchange with my mother following the British election in 1998, she told me that her bet was that ‘John Major and all the rest of them’ would now be kicking themselves for not having gone ‘New Tory’ and moved a little further to the left. The New Labour success indicated, she thought, that had they done so they could easily have stayed in power. I was not at all sure she was correct in this, but her remark interested me as reflecting both the impossibility of discoursing about politics without the left-right distinction, and one of the main reasons why its continued relevance to the European political situation is being called increasingly into question.

Theoria

A Journal of Social and Political Theory

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