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An ideology in transition: the political though of the social democratic party

Laing, Michael (1990) An ideology in transition: the political though of the social democratic party. Masters thesis, Durham University.



The thesis of this dissertation is that the political thought of the Social Democratic Party can be most adequately understood by an analysis of the relationship between liberty and equality within that political thought. By examining this relationship it may also be possible to indicate in which of the three major ideological traditions SDP political thought can be placed. The first chapter describes the history and ethos of social democracy focusing upon the disputes in the Labour Party between 1956 and 1981. The second, third and fourth chapters deal with the writings of Roy Jenkins, David Owen and Shirley Williams. Their writings are evaluated by the importance they place on liberty over equality or vice versa. The work looks at issues such as the ownership of wealth. The fifth chapter reviews the publications of the Tawney Society. The sane method is employed to assess these writings as used on the three SDP leaders. The conclusion suggests that the SDP has many traditions in its political thought. It has been influenced by events within the Labour Party. However, the dominant tradition would appear to be liberal and not socialist.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1990
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:18 Dec 2012 12:07

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