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Séville, Astrid (2017): From 'one right way' to 'one ruinous way'? Discursive shifts in 'There is no alternative'. In: European Political Science Review, Vol. 9, No. 3: pp. 449-470

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If decisions are made in democracies in open procedures, the rhetoric of There is no alternative (TINA) raises certain questions. Tracing back the idea of necessity to symptomatic discourses, this article analyzes TINA as a political strategy in contexts such as Thatcherism, Third Way politics, and European crisis management, and sheds light on the specific characteristics of politics in the name of TINA. The analysis identifies distinct models of 'one way' discourses, reflecting political cultures and institutional settings and providing discursive trajectories. We examine the motivation for invoking necessity to justify unpalatable and normatively intricate policy decisions, and understand TINA politics in its double effect: as facilitating certain policies yet obstructing democratic and deliberative procedures. This allows us to address the question of whether the politics of our time shows a disposition to TINA as a means of responding to the rise and fall of political steering optimism.

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