2nd Edition

The Struggle for Labour's Soul Understanding Labour's Political Thought Since 1945

Edited By Matt Beech, Kevin Hickson, Raymond Plant Copyright 2019
    236 Pages
    by Routledge

    236 Pages
    by Routledge

    The election of the most left-wing Labour Party Leader since 1945, followed by the Party's third consecutive general election defeat and the ongoing cultural divisions around Brexit present an ideal opportunity for a thorough re-evaluation of the state of the Party within its broader ideological and historical context.

    This second edition of this highly respected book analyses the current developments and places them in their historical setting through a clear three-part framework of Ideological Positions, Struggles and Commentaries.

    Thoroughly updated and featuring contributions by leading academics and politicians, it continues to represent one of the most ground-breaking and thorough analyses of Labour's political thought in a generation and will be of key interest to scholars, students and observers of British Politics, British History, Party Politics, and the Labour Party.

    Foreword [Dame Margaret Beckett MP]

    Introduction [Matt Beech, Kevin Hickson and Raymond Plant]

    Part I: Positions 

    1. The Old Left [Kevin Hickson]

    2. Labour’s New Left: Then and Now [David Coates]

    3. The Centre [Mark Garnett]

    4. The Old Right [Kevin Jefferys]

    5. The Progressives [Matt Beech]

    Part II: Struggles  

    6. Culture and Character [Jeremy Nuttall]

    7. Social Class [Emmanuelle Avril]

    8. Gender Politics [Vicky Randall]

    9. Political Economy [Noel Thompson and Gavin Thompson]

    10. Sovereignty and the State [Jasper Miles]

    11. European Integration [Helen Parr]

    12. Defence [Timothy J. Oliver]

    Part III: Commentaries

    13. The Old Left: The Bevanites [Nicklaus Thomas-Symonds MP]

    14. The New Left: Daring to be a Daniel [Alan Simpson] 

    15. The Centre: The Need for Unity [Andy Burnham]

    16. The Old Right: Promoting Growth and Tackling Globalisation [Lord Peter Hain of Neath]

    17. New Labour [Dame Margaret Hodge MP]


    Matt Beech is Reader in Politics and founding Director of the Centre for British Politics at the University of Hull, UK. He is Senior Fellow in the Institute of European Studies at UC Berkeley and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

    Kevin Hickson is Senior Lecturer in British Politics at the University of Liverpool, UK. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

    Raymond Plant has been a Labour Peer since 1992 and was Master of St. Catherine's College, Oxford between 1994 and 2000. He has also held professorial appointments at King's College London and the University of Southampton, UK.

    "...I hope this updated edition of The Struggle for Labour’s Soul will shed a greater light on the debates in, on, and around the Labour Party and our future." - Dame Margaret Beckett MP

    "The book weaves together beautifully the plethora of ideas, personalities, social forces, and political traditions that have shaped the modern Labour Party."Frank Field MP