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Title: Labour's transformation 1983-1989 : a study in political complexity
Author: Lent, Adam
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 1997
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This thesis attempts to answer the following question: why and how did the Labour Party change between 1983 and 1989? This question is approached from the theoretical perspective of 'complexity' which suggests that socio-political phenomena are either too complex ever to be fully understood or are too complex for the methodological tools we presently have at our disposal. These theoretical conclusions are arrived at following detailed analysis of how the dominant model of causality employed in social and political analysis has tended to obscure a large quantity of causal processes involved in the development of anyone social or political factor. As such, it is proposed that a methodology be employed which aims to subvert the prevalent tendency to simplification whilst simultaneously using the insights of complexity to develop a new approach to the Party. A variety of methodological approaches are proposed and applied in pursuit of these goals. Following the identification of simplifications and potential sources of further complexity in existing analyses of Labour's transformation between 1983 and 1989, the thesis makes a large number of empirical observations about the nature of that transformation. These empirical observations cannot be easily summarised in the form of a limited number of over-arching findings for the reason that such simplification is avoided within the thesis itself. However, it can be stated that these observations cover the full range of personal, contingent political, institutional, ideological and rational factors which were causes, aspects and effects of the transformation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available