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Contribution to Collected Edition

A Third Way in Industrial Relations?


Crouch,  Colin
Auswärtiges Wissenschaftliches Mitglied, MPI for the Study of Societies, Max Planck Society;
University of Warwick Business School, UK;

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Crouch, C. (2002). A Third Way in Industrial Relations? In S. White (Ed.), New Labour: The Progressive Future? (pp. 93-109). Basingstoke: Palgrave.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0012-5347-7
Analysing the idea of a third way between social democracy and neoliberal-ism is difficult, since social democracy itself has been a third way between socialism (seen as the removal of productive resources from private ownership to some form of collective control), and laissez-faire capitalism.1 At the same time that social democracy in this sense was developing — broadly, from the 1930s to 1950s — conservative political forces were responding with their own middle way between these alternatives. As a result, in many advanced democracies political conflict in the first three post-war decades was played out in a rather narrow space. It is interesting to note that although both social democracy and reformist conservatism were compromise strategies, the policy mix they developed was not a mere central path between laissez-faire capitalism and socialism, but an original approach containing elements neither belonging to nor anticipated by either parent ideology: Keynesian demand management, neo-corporatist industrial relations, universal welfare states.2 This was a true third way.