The February edition of BJPIR (British Journal of Politics & Interational Relations) includes the article Treating the Symptom Not the Condition: Crisis Deﬁnition, Deﬁcit Reduction and the Search for a New British Growth Model by Director of SPERI, Professor Colin Hay. You can download the article – which has already received some news coverage – at the bottom of the page.
It has taken quite a while for a consolidated crisis discourse to emerge in Britain in response to the seismic Events|News of 2007–09. But one is now clearly evident, widely accepted and deeply implicated in government economic policy. It is a ‘crisis of debt’ discourse to which the response is austerity and deﬁcit reduction; it is paradigm-reinforcing rather than paradigm-threatening. In this article I consider the appropriateness of such a crisis discourse, arguing that an alternative ‘crisis of growth’ discourse is rather more compelling and would point in very different policy directions while generating very different expectations about the effects of deﬁcit reduction. Such a discourse can just about be detected in the growing criticism of the government’s austerity programme, but it is yet to lead to the positing of a new growth model. I explore the implications of both crisis discourses for responses to the crisis, concluding with an assessment of the prospects for the return to growth under a new growth model in the years ahead.