On SAGE Insight: Articles from the Symposium on Lewis Minkin’s The Blair Supremacy

 

From Political Studies Review

The three articles in this symposium explore different themes and features of Lewis Minkin’s works on Tony Blair

  • The first article, by Eric Shaw, outlines and discusses the main features of Lewis Minkin’s book,The Blair Supremacy, subtitled ‘A Case Study of Labour’s party management’. These include Minkin’s exposition of New Labour’s managerial doctrine, the methods used to put it into effect and the resources deployed to support it. It assesses some of the problems New Labour’s party management encountered and the compromises it made.
  • Emmanuelle Avril’s article shows how Lewis Minkin’s specific approach meticulously unpicks the mechanisms of party management to reveal the vulnerabilities of New Labour’s managerial culture and behaviour. Minkin breaks new ground in our understanding of organisational change and offers a better grasp of the dialectic between organisational culture and party reputation. Avril concludes by drawing out lessons from Blair’s management style – and eventual downfall – for star-struck foreign politicians and commentators.
  • The final article in the symposium, by Mark Wickham-Jones critically examines the themes raised by Lewis Minkin in his 2014 volume about Labour politics,The Blair Supremacy, within the context of his earlier work concerning the party’s relationship with its affiliated trade unions. Wickham-Jones outlines his argument concerning the development of party management, especially that regarding ‘a Blair coup’. He discusses the role of norms in political explanation, the importance of formal rules in understanding Labour politics, the significance of wider changes to the party’s character, how best to conceptualise the nature of Tony Blair’s leadership, and, finally, the historical development of the party’s trajectory. Wickham-Jones concludes with an overall assessment of Minkin’s corpus and some pointers as to an alternative conceptualisation of Labour’s relationship with its affiliated unions.

Link to the table of contents

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Article details
Symposium on Lewis Minkin’s The Blair Supremacy:
Eric Shaw\
Understanding Labour Party Management under Tony Blair
Political Studies Review May 2016 14: 153-162, doi:10.1177/1478929915623296


Abstract

This article outlines and discusses the main features of Lewis Minkin’s book, The Blair Supremacy, subtitled ‘A Case Study of Labour’s party management’. These include Minkin’s exposition of New Labour’s managerial doctrine, the methods used to put it into effect and the resources deployed to support it. It assesses some of the problems New Labour’s party management encountered and the compromises it made. It both locates Minkin’s analysis of these issues within a debate concerning the nature of power and details the wider consequences for Labour politics of Tony Blair’s leadership of the party.

 

 

 

     
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