20 Critical Soc. Pol'y 5 (2000)

handle is hein.journals/critsplcy20 and id is 1 raw text is: 

    University of Utrecht

    Caring   in the  third way:   the relation   between
    obligation,   responsibility and care in Third Way

    In his book The Third Way Anthony Giddens  develops the outlines of a
    new normative framework  for New Labour and sketches ensuing policy
    proposals. Based on his diagnosis of current socio-political problems,
    Giddens  proposes a new relation between rights and obligations and
    elaborates on this for issues of welfare and family politics. This article
    critically investigates his normative framework, and argues that a
    considerable part of the ideas on a third way in politics could be better
    grounded and refined by taking care into account. It spells out what the
    consequences would be of taking the ethic of care as a normative guide-
    line for the new programmatic ideas and compares the British discussion
    with recent policy proposals in the Netherlands. It is argued that care
    should be seen as a democratic practice, and that democratic citizenship
    supposes that everybody would be guaranteed equal access to the giving
    and receiving of care.


The  notion of obligation is currently a focal point in public debate. In
the past decade there has been  increasing unease among   key political
actors (political parties, government officials, political theorists) about
the political language  of rights. The idea, which  had  its origins in
welfare discourses, that rights can easily turn individuals into passive
claimants  seems  now  to be  common currency and is also winning
ground  in other policy domains.  In  contrast with ten years ago, the
slogan 'no rights without obligations' no longer seems to evoke  wide-
spread contestation. Yet  there are divergent views  on how   to think

    Copyright @ 2000 Critical Social Policy 62 0261-0183(200002) 20:1
    SAGE Publications (London, Thousand Oaks, CA and New Delhi), Vol. 20(1): 5-37; 011433.


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