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THE CENTRE IS MINE: TONY BLAIR, NEW LABOUR AND THE FUTURE OF ELECTORAL POLITICS Jim Claven Annandale: Pluto Press, 2000, 234 pp., $27.95 (paperback).
The minor avalanche of titles published over the last couple of years seeking to come to grips with some aspect of the `Third Way' is an interesting publishing phenomenon, and a significant symptom of an idea whose time has seemingly arrived (as well as of faddism in academic and publishing concerns). Jim Claven's The Centre is Mine is the latest Australian contribution to this growing literature and interesting more for what it signifies about current political preoccupations than for its quality of analysis per se.
Claven's text originated as an MA thesis at Monash University, and perhaps could have benefited from greater editorial and authorial work in the transformation from thesis to monograph. Claven seeks to address questions such as the salience of the 1997 UK Labour victory for social democratic politics and whether the election itself provides …