The discourse of globalisation and the logic of no alternative : rendering the contingent necessary in the political economy of New Labour

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Watson, Matthew ; Hay, Colin (2003)

Although convincingly discredited academically, a crude 'business school' globalisation thesis of a single world market, with its attendant political 'logic of no alternative', continues to dominate the discourse of globalisation adopted by the British Labour Party. Here, we identify three separate, albeit reinforcing, articulations of the policy 'necessities' associated with global economic change. Labour's leaders are shown to have utilised a flexible synthesis of potentially contradictory ideas in constructing their chosen discourse of globalisation to guide the conduct of British economic policy following the Party's election victory in 1997. We conclude that Labour appealed to the image of globalisation as a non-negotiable external economic constraint in order to render contingent policy choices 'necessary' in the interests of electoral rejuvenation.
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