From equality to inclusion

  • Ruth Levitas


How does New Labour’s development of the third way bear on their treatment of inclusion? Is social inclusion, as distinct from political inclusiveness, connected to broad, social democratic definitions of citizenship and thus to civil, political and social equality, or is it more narrowly construed in terms of waged work? To what extent does it reflect the moral inclusion which Room sees as contained in continental versions of social exclusion, and which is present both in discourses about the underclass and in the communitariansim of litzioni and Gray?1 Political inclusiveness has a high profile, connected to the consensual assumptions of Labour’s third way. While this commitment is consistent with RLD, the flight from equality means that discussions of social exclusion omit or actively debar redistribution towards the poor. Like stakeholders, and consistent with SID, Labour understands social inclusion primarily in terms of participation in paid work. This is most obviously the case in the New Deal or welfare to work policies - although the justifications for benefit cuts in conjunction with these policies have overtones of MUD. The Social Exclusion Unit (SEU) combines a broader conception of social exclusion with an emphasis on questions of social order, and is strongly imbued with MUD. Both the New Deal and the SEU emphasize opportunity and employability.


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Copyright information

© Ruth Levitas 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ruth Levitas
    • 1
  1. 1.University of BristolEngland

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