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'Thin labourism': Ideological and policy comparisons between the Australian, British, and New Zealand labour parties

Manwaring, R., Duncan, G. & Lees, C. ORCID: 0000-0002-3517-2211 (2023). 'Thin labourism': Ideological and policy comparisons between the Australian, British, and New Zealand labour parties. The British Journal of Politics and International Relations, 26(1), pp. 39-61. doi: 10.1177/13691481221148326


Centre–left political parties are undergoing an identity crisis. This article is a comparative analysis of how the three sister labour parties in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand are refurbishing their agendas. We integrate Barrientos and Powell’s framework, with Freeden’s concept of ideological morphology, to systematically map the three parties across three main domains: their discourse and values, their political economy, and their social policy agendas. We then apply four different analytical frames to better understand the ideological and policy trajectories of our cases. These frames comprise ‘values, not ideology’, ‘quietism’, ‘third way’, and ‘thin labourism’. We argue that the frame of ‘thin labourism’ best captures the recent developments of these modern labour parties. In sum, the parties are still rooted in a recognisable centre–left tradition, but they operating from a narrower base of core values.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright © the authors, 2023.
Publisher Keywords: comparative, ideology, labour, morphology, social democracy
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HX Socialism. Communism. Anarchism
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs
SWORD Depositor:
[thumbnail of BPPIR - Composite Document.pdf] Text - Accepted Version
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