The Radical Center is an emerging political movement that offers an activist alternative to the traditional extremism of the Left-Right politics. Radical centrists try to build majority consenus for radical reforms by sidestepping (or confronting) what they consider the obsolete, polarized and non-productive ideologies of Conservatism and Liberalism. The most prominent politicians sometimes associated with radical centrist politics are Tony Blair in the U.K. and John McCain in the U.S. The radical center is sometimes described as socially conservative and fiscally liberal, in contrast to the fiscally conservative and socially liberal "moderate middle". Radical centrists take pains to distance themselves from traditional moderates, whom they sometimes deride as "the squishy center."

Radical centrists can often be found in both left-wing and right-wing political parties, but (like other centrists) are usually penalized for being out of step with that party's dominant ideology. This leads to tension between what might be called separatist factions, who want to shed an unhelpful party label in order to run as independents, and puritans who want to reform (or take over) the party from within. This tension is particular acute in countries with strong two-party traditions, since it is difficult for third-party candidates to create governable coalitions.

Table of contents
1 History
2 External links
3 Howard Dean and the Radical Center


While the term radical center has been used in various ways since at least the 1970s, the modern movement by that name draws its inspiration from the book The Third Way by Anthony Giddens. In the U.S. third way politics is most actively represented by the New America Foundation, and their book entitled The Radical Center. Radical centrist politics often makes uses of a Radical middle approach to problems, and the two terms are often used interchangeably.

External links

Organizations concerned with Radical Centrist politics include:

Howard Dean and the Radical Center

There is also (as of late 2003) a move of people referring to Howard Dean as representing the radical center, though it is not yet clear whether he embraces that concept. This highlights the problem that many people define the center as 'less extreme than some in their community', which may not be seen as centrist by the larger community.