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Rosemary Bechler is on her way

Anthony Barnett
6 September 2009

Stuart White set out a helpful and interesting four-section map of current political ideology in the Fabian blog Next Left. He says there are two defining contrasts: between centre and left republicans and between right and left communitarians. It's well worth a read as it get traction on the new ideas, as well as the retreads, of current debates triggered off as people prepare for a transition from Brown-Blairism to Cameron-Blairism. My own politics has elements of both left republicanism and left communitarianism, at least as Stuart describes them. So I was very engaged by a stunning response to Jeremy Gilbert from Rosemary Bechler. Jeremy did a major piece for OurKingdom which Rosemary queried and she got a swift reply. Her delay has given her the time to set out a two-part argument: first on the historic development and role of the individual in democracy and second on the nature of power in the era of gatekeepers that takes us beyond just the twin forms of Gramscian coercion and hegemony. In terms of Stuart White's typology, hers is a critique of left communitarianism from the historical perspective of left republicanism. We'll be publishing both parts this week.While I'm at it though I've three reflections on the limitations of Stuart's map. It leaves out the role of green politics and green economics. It does not embrace Ungar's experimentalism. And both these omissions stem, perhaps, from not judging ideologies enough in terms of what kind of future they offer and argue for. Apologies for being cryptic.

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