A new book, Austerity Politics and UK Economic Policy, by SPERI Deputy Director Craig Berry has been published by Palgrave. The book assesses UK economic policy in the wake of the financial crisis through the lens of the austerity agenda, focusing on monetary policy, economic rebalancing, industrial and regional policy, the labour market, welfare reform and budgetary management.
Berry argues that austerity is geared towards a resurrection of financialisation and the UK’s pre-crisis economic model, through the transformation of individual behaviour and demonisation of the state. Accordingly, the book shows that cutting public spending and debt in the short term is, at most, a secondary concern for the UK policy elite. However, the underlying purpose of austerity is frequently misunderstood due to its conflation with a narrow deficit reduction agenda, not least by its Keynesian critics.
The book, published as part of the SPERI’s Building a Sustainable Political Economy pivots series with Palgrave, also argues that austerity has effectively dismantled the prospects of a centre-left alternative to neoliberalism.
Hardcover and electronic versions of the book are available now on the Palgrave website.