ANTHONY GIDDENS served as Director of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) from 1997 to 2003. He was previously a Fellow and Professor of Sociology at King's College, Cambridge. Among his 34 books are The Third Way: The Renewal of Social Democracy, The Third Way and It's Critics, and Runaway World : How Globalization is Reshaping Our Lives. There is a substantial body of academic writing and criticism about his work.He co-founded the academic publishing house Polity Press in 1985. He was the 1999 BBC Reith Lecturer. He was given a life peerage in June 2004, as Baron Giddens, of Southgate.
Giddens is the most widely-read and cited social theorist of his generation. His ideas have profoundly influenced the writing and teaching of sociology and social theory around the world.
In particular, he developed the theory of structuration, which is the understanding of the relationship between individuals and the conditions around them. We should view life in society as a series of ongoing activities and practices that people carry on, but which at the same time reproduce larger institutions.
Most recently he has been at the forefront of developing ideas in left of centre politics. He has helped to popularise the idea of the 'Third Way'. The Third Way represents the renewal of social democracy in a world where the views of the old left have become obsolete, while those of the new right are inadequate and contradictory. A new social democratic agenda is emerging that is integrated, robust and wide-ranging, which can also rekindle political idealism. Giddens has travelled to many countries around the world talking to political leaders and heads of state about the development of third way politics.
Giddens grew up in Edmonton, North London. He was the first person in his family to go to university or college, and counts himself lucky to have been accepted by Hull University. He has a younger brother and two daughters.
Frequently referred to as Tony Blair's guru, Giddens has made a strong impact on the evolution of New Labour.