One Nation Labour and the Case for Social Security Reform

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter examines Labour’s case for One Nation social security reform. Using a framework developed elsewhere (Atkins 2010, 2011), it explores the processes underlying this justificatory strategy, taking into account Labour’s ideological commitments, the requirements of argumentation in the area of welfare policy, and the need to achieve hegemonic advantage. This analysis reveals that Labour’s case for welfare reform was broadly consistent with its values and that the chosen consequentialist argument was appropriate to the policy. The chapter also identifies three narratives mobilised by the advocates of One Nation—party traditions, ‘new times’ and national renewal—and demonstrates that they coalesced in the leadership persona of Ed Miliband. As such, the fates of the project and the leader were inextricably linked.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationVoices of the UK Left
Subtitle of host publicationRhetoric, Ideology and the Performance of Politics
EditorsJudi Atkins, John Gaffney
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-51902-9
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-51901-2
Publication statusPublished - 11 Aug 2017

Publication series

NameRhetoric, Politics and Society

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    Atkins, J. (2017). One Nation Labour and the Case for Social Security Reform. In J. Atkins, & J. Gaffney (Eds.), Voices of the UK Left: Rhetoric, Ideology and the Performance of Politics (pp. 79-99). (Rhetoric, Politics and Society). Palgrave Macmillan.