Posts by Colin Hay

Professor Colin Hay, Director of SPERI

The great uncertainty paradox

Colin Hay

Uncertainty is the essence of social, political and economic systems. This is the final post on our series on researching uncertainty Uncertainty is troubling, collective uncertainty particularly so.  To find ourselves in a context that can be described as ‘The Great Uncertainty’ is, then, likely to prove greatly troubling – at least to those willing to accept the accuracy of … Continue reading

2 November 2017 by Colin Hay
Categories: SPERI Comment Tags: , ,

Inclusive growth: the challenge of our time

Colin Hay

A new growth model must be economically and morally sustainable – now, and for future generations “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others” (George Orwell, Animal Farm, 1945) In a context in which we have been told for so long that ‘we are all in it together’ to ask for inclusive growth might not seem … Continue reading

21 February 2017 by Colin Hay
Categories: Inclusive Growth, SPERI Comment Tags: , , , , , , ,

From Brexit reflex to Brexistential crisis

Colin Hay

How did we get here – and where, exactly, is here? Just a little over five months ago I ‘predicted’, in the Cassandra-esque manner to which I am sometimes accustomed, Brexit, the breakup of Britain and a second global financial crisis. I very much hoped – as I made clear at the time – that my prophecy, like so many … Continue reading

28 June 2016 by Colin Hay
Categories: SPERI Comment Tags: ,

Repost: Brexistential Crisis – what would Cassandra say?

Colin Hay

In January Colin Hay, SPERI’s co-director, predicted that Britain would vote to leave the European Union in 2016. Today as that prediction (in the manner of Cassandra) comes to pass we’re reposting Colin’s article which goes on to make two further predictions about the break-up of Britain and a second financial crisis. Prediction is a dark art – a terrain … Continue reading

24 June 2016 by Colin Hay
Categories: EU Referendum, Europe and the EU, SPERI Comment Tags: , ,

The Coming Crisis: the gathering storm

Colin Hay

In the first of a new series of weekly SPERI blogs on ‘the coming crisis’ Colin Hay sets out the background to the series and outlines the themes it will explore That economists tend to optimism whilst political economists tend to pessimism is something of a truism, albeit one that often goes unacknowledged. The reason for this bifurcation in psycho-analytic … Continue reading

30 March 2016 by Colin Hay
Categories: Austerity, Economics, Europe and the EU, SPERI Comment, The coming crisis Tags: , , , , , ,

What would Cassandra say?

Colin Hay

Prediction in politics and political economy is perilous, but has value in warning of outcomes that could still be avoided by political agency Prediction is a dark art – a terrain onto which political scientists and, perhaps even more so, political economists should venture only ever rarely, if at all. For, if there is one thing that all political scientists … Continue reading

21 January 2016 by Colin Hay
Categories: Economics, EU Referendum, Europe and the EU, SPERI Comment Tags: ,

Prospects for Britain’s socially and territorially fractured polity

Colin Hay

It’s still a ‘good election to lose, but too important not to win’ Between 24.4% and 27.5%, I reckon, of Britain’s registered voters are passably happy with the outcome of the 2015 General Election – 27.5% if you think SNP supporters are content, 24.4% if you think contentedness is confined to Tory supporters living (almost exclusively, but not quite) south … Continue reading

2 June 2015 by Colin Hay
Categories: Economics, Europe and the EU, Politics and policy, SPERI Comment Tags: , , , , , , ,

Election 2015: not a good one to win … but too important to lose

Colin Hay

In these circumstances there is no good excuse for not voting, and for not voting extremely wisely Winning elections in Britain is becoming ever more of a poison chalice.  It does not take a great deal of hindsight to see that neither 2005 nor 2010 were especially good to win.  As many saw even at the time, 2005 was the … Continue reading

4 March 2015 by Colin Hay
Categories: British growth crisis, Europe and the EU, Politics and policy, SPERI Comment Tags: , , , , ,

Inequality Redux

Colin Hay

Introduction This is the first of a series of weekly SPERI Comments by SPERI staff and students on the theme of inequality that will run from now until the British General Election in May.  In it Colin Hay reflects on the reasons for the perhaps surprising return of inequality to the public debate and the social, political and economic context … Continue reading

12 February 2015 by Colin Hay
Categories: Inequality, SPERI Comment

The asset-based welfare paradox: twist or split?

Colin Hay

Continuing to rely on asset-price appreciation to provide for our futures is a dangerous gamble Any way one looks at it, the long-term growth prospects of the British economy appear pretty bleak in the absence of some quite seismic shifts in economic thinking and economic policy practice.  Yes, you might protest, growth is back, inflation is low, unemployment is falling … Continue reading

1 July 2014 by Colin Hay
Categories: Economics, Housing, SPERI Comment

Too important to leave to the economists: putting the ‘political’ back in political economy

Colin Hay

The crisis has shown us that we can’t let mainstream economists continue setting the policy agenda One of the starkest lessons of the global financial crisis is that we can no longer afford, if ever we could, to leave the analysis of economics to mainstream economists alone.  Their achievement and our misfortune has been to depoliticise and technicise economic policy – … Continue reading

10 October 2013 by Colin Hay
Categories: Political theory, SPERI Comment

Growth – do we need it and can we learn to live without it?

Colin Hay

Achieving environmental sustainability may require us to break from growth altogether in the long run So, do we need growth and might we learn to live without it? Nearly all of us who write regularly for SPERI Comment have at least nodded in the direction of the need to think beyond growth in some way.  But we have typically left … Continue reading

18 June 2013 by Colin Hay
Categories: British growth crisis, SPERI Comment

What should Labour do now?

Colin Hay

Rejecting death by 1000 cuts and proposing alternatives With the crisis persisting and the election drawing nearer Labour faces its most serious challenge in recent years.  The questions are simple: how to engage the Coalition on the economy? What can it offer the electorate? Should it challenge the established consensus on the crisis and reject austerity? Understanding the crisis is … Continue reading

21 February 2013 by Colin Hay
Categories: British growth crisis, Politics and policy, SPERI Comment, SPERI Papers

Politicising the cost of borrowing

Colin Hay

Why should mortgage lenders be recapitalising the banking sector? It is time to refocus and redirect the public’s anger at the banking sector whose malpractices were integral to the crisis from which we are still reeling. Thus far the public discourse has concentrated on the bonus and risk culture that developed in investment banking in particular before the crash. But … Continue reading

9 January 2013 by Colin Hay
Categories: British growth crisis, SPERI Comment, SPERI Papers

The global financial crisis – a misnomer?

Colin Hay

The global financial crisis isn’t really global or exclusively financial, but we do need to start thinking in a planetary way to overcome it The ‘global financial crisis’ is a misnomer.  As with most things we call global, it’s not genuinely global (though it certainly raises some global issues).  And, while we’re at it, it’s by no means exclusively financial … Continue reading

6 December 2012 by Colin Hay
Categories: Global crisis, SPERI Comment

A very British crisis – acknowledging our own culpability

Colin Hay

If we are to get the response to the crisis right and to put it right, we first need to get the crisis right The crisis has been understood in a variety of rather different ways – most of them credible in at least some respect.  Is this Britain’s crisis or a global financial crisis or a crisis of the … Continue reading

12 November 2012 by Colin Hay
Categories: British growth crisis, Global crisis, SPERI Comment