The British Labour Party in Opposition, 1979-1997: Structures, Agency, and Party Change

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dc.contributor.advisor Taylor, Charles L. en_US
dc.contributor.advisor White, Stephen K. en_US
dc.contributor.advisor Davis, Rebecca H. en_US
dc.contributor.author Allan, James P. en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2011-08-04T21:47:53Z
dc.date.available 2011-08-04T21:47:53Z
dc.date.issued 1997-04-24 en_US
dc.identifier.other etd-454016449701231 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10919/9567
dc.description.abstract The British Labour Party has spent eighteen years in opposition since 1979. During that time it lost four consecutive general elections to the Conservative Party. In 1997, however, it now looks set to win its first election since 1974. This thesis examines the Labour Party in opposition since 1979, using a theoretical framework informed by Anthony Giddens' structuration theory. Based on a dialectical notion of the structure and agency linkage, a two-tiered framework is constructed which at one level views a political party as consisting of a set of structures which can constrain and enable party leaders in their attempts to make the party electorally successful, and at another level the party is regarded as a collective agent in its own right, which in turn is subject to the effects of larger external structures. By comparing the strategies adopted by the Labour Party and its leaders since 1979, the thesis demonstrates that the apparent recovery in the Party's electoral fortunes has corresponded with an increase in the ability of agents to successfully negotiate structural constraints, whilst taking advantage of enabling structures. However, it is also clear that the transformation of Labour into an electorally viable party in 1997 is not solely the product of agency in the period since the last election; rather, it is the culmination of a longer-term process of party change. en_US
dc.format.medium ETD en_US
dc.publisher Virginia Tech en_US
dc.relation.haspart Etd.pdf en_US
dc.relation.haspart Etd1.pdf en_US
dc.relation.haspart Etd2.pdf en_US
dc.relation.haspart Etd3.pdf en_US
dc.relation.haspart Etd4.pdf en_US
dc.relation.haspart Etd5.pdf en_US
dc.relation.haspart Etd6.pdf en_US
dc.relation.haspart Etd7.pdf en_US
dc.relation.haspart Etd8.pdf en_US
dc.relation.haspart Etd9.pdf en_US
dc.rights The authors of the theses and dissertations are the copyright owners. Virginia Tech's Digital Library and Archives has their permission to store and provide access to these works. en_US
dc.source.uri http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/theses/available/etd-454016449701231 en_US
dc.subject electoral performance en_US
dc.subject The Labour Party en_US
dc.subject structure and agency en_US
dc.title The British Labour Party in Opposition, 1979-1997: Structures, Agency, and Party Change en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.contributor.department Political Science en_US
dc.description.degree MA en_US

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