New Labour is the most innovative and powerful political movement in Britain today. However, New Labour: A Critique argues that its apparent pragmatism disguises an ideological commitment to particular forms of social science, deploying new institutionalism and communitarianism to respond to the New Right.
Bevir traces the impact of these forms of social science on the ideas and policies of New Labour, paying particular attention to the welfare state and the economy. New Labour, the new institutionalism and communitarianism typically objectify aspects of the social world to sustain claims to expert knowledge. Bevir defends and enacts an alternative, interpretive approach to social science. This interpretive approach inspires a critique of New Labour as a contingent reworking of a particular socialist tradition rather than the necessary or pragmatic response that it portrays itself as.