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Why the Third Way failedEconomics, morality and the origins of the 'Big Society'$
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Bill Jordan

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9781847426567

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847426567.001.0001

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Value, virtue and justice

Value, virtue and justice

(p.23) One Value, virtue and justice
Why the Third Way failed

Bill Jordan

Policy Press

This chapter examines how moral issues have been obscured rather than clarified by Third Way institutions and discourses, but how, in spite of this, underlying ethical questions emerge and demand debate. These include examples from the political, financial, and social spheres, in which the attempt to regulate in line with contract theory and the incentives facing self-interested and self-responsible individuals have failed to establish a viable order. The chapter argues that people first need to understand the role of institutions in fixing the type and scale of value at stake in any set of interactions between members, citizens, or strangers. Institutions such as property ownership, markets, tax-benefits systems or even religions, the armed services, and sports exist in order to provide ways in which the value attached to people, activities, and social units can be identified, produced, and distributed according to certain standards.

Keywords:   moral issues, Third Way, contract theory, property ownership, markets, UK

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