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In Egalitarian Thought and Labour Politics Nicholas Ellison argues that the concept of equality is the cornerstone of the British socialist tradition, and the organizing principle of the Labour Party's socialist thought. The book examines the alternative understandings of equality which have divided the Labour Party since 1930, tracing the origin of the current shift away from concern for social and economic equality to an increasing emphasis on liberty and 'equal effective freedom'. Dr Ellison identifies three competing approaches to equality, each rooted in a particular tradition of thought and a distinct faction of the party, and he examines the struggle between these divergent ideologies in the party's attempt to define its socialist ideals. The book is also concerned with contemporary attitudes to equality within the Labour Party, discussing the importance of the concept to debates about citizenship and market socialism.
Published: 20th October 1994