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Title: Responses to the new right : the engagement of the British left with the work of Friedrich Hayek, 1989-1997
Author: Griffiths, Simon
ISNI:       0000 0001 3520 7552
Awarding Body: London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
Current Institution: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Date of Award: 2006
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This is an examination of the context, content and significance of the surprising engagement of the British left with the arguments of Friedrich Hayek (1899-1992), one of the most influential theorists of the new right and an important influence on leading figures in the Conservative Government elected in the UK in 1979. The thesis examines in detail the engagement by four thinkers on the British left with Hayek's work: David Miller, Raymond Plant, Andrew Gamble and Hilary Wainwright. Its chronological parameters are the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the election of ‘New Labour’ in the UK in 1997. Important contextual factors behind this engagement include the rise and fall of the British Conservative Party, the difficulties of statist forms of socialism and Hayek's own death. The engagement with Hayek's work provides a case study that demonstrates changes in political themes, in particular, the decline of statist forms of socialism with the left's embrace of the market and individual freedom, the decline in support for the paternalistic state and the search for more ‘feasible’ alternatives. I argue that the British left's engagement with Hayek is part of a wider intellectual break that constitutes the end of a ‘short twentieth century’ in political thought, and that the political landscape is now dominated by two strands of the liberal tradition. As such, the research will be of importance to anyone seeking a clearer understanding of recent changes in political thought and to the shape of the contemporary political landscape.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: JA Political science (General)