Posts by Craig Berry

Craig Berry, Deputy Director at SPERI

Forever young, but never young?

Craig Berry

Alan France’s ambitious account of young people’s experience of economic crisis across eight developed countries shows what it means to be young has been transformed There is a strong consensus among the social science community that young people are among the groups most affected by the 2008 global financial crisis, in part because they will live with the aftermath for … Continue reading

15 February 2017 by Craig Berry
Categories: SPERI Comment Tags: , , , , ,

Industrial strategy failures increase the likelihood of soft Brexit

Craig Berry

As Theresa May knows, Britain is too weak economically to prosper outside the single market under the current economic policy paradigm – this inconvenient truth will soon tear apart the pro-Brexit coalition In many ways, 2016 was a fairly typical year in post-crisis Britain. The economy continued to stumble along, but the government continued to pretend otherwise, declaring austerity to … Continue reading

17 January 2017 by Craig Berry
Categories: SPERI Comment Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

The world as we know it is a world that never was

Craig Berry

Donald Trump’s election reminds us that world order is based on American imperial power, not liberal ideals – the American empire’s unravelling will now be accelerated There has been much anxiety expressed in recent days on what the election of Donald Trump in the United States, on the back of the Brexit vote in Britain, says about ‘us’ (whether the … Continue reading

7 December 2016 by Craig Berry
Categories: Politics and policy, SPERI Comment, USA Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Manufacturing decline and Britain’s ‘radically redundant’ industrial policy

Craig Berry

Industrial policy is being rediscovered, again, but the incompleteness of the policy-making environment means it will fail to halt the ongoing decline of manufacturing Gordon Brown in 2008. David Cameron in 2010.  And now Theresa May in 2016. Since the financial crisis, Britain has had three prime ministers, and each one has promised a manufacturing renaissance based on a more … Continue reading

9 November 2016 by Craig Berry
Categories: SPERI Comment Tags: , , , , ,

Corbynism, martyrdom and the other Labour split – Part III

Craig Berry

The future of the Labour Party depends on how the party’s centre and ‘soft left’ responds to the emerging divide between Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters The attempt to renew the British left via Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership has failed, largely because his supporters’ efforts to sanitise Corbyn’s destructive politics has failed.  Through a mixture of naivety, hubris, loyalty and fatigue, however, his … Continue reading

13 October 2016 by Craig Berry
Categories: SPERI Comment Tags: , , , , ,

Corbynism, martyrdom and the other Labour split – part II

Craig Berry

Labour will not split, but Corbynism might – Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party depends on a large group of activists increasingly uneasy with his approach to politics Part I of this post explored the phenomenon of Corbynism in relation to political ‘martyrdom’, arguing that Jeremy Corbyn and his key allies offer a destructive form of utopian politics.  Suddenly … Continue reading

3 October 2016 by Craig Berry
Categories: Politics and policy, SPERI Comment Tags: , , , , ,

Corbynism, martyrdom and the other Labour split – part I

Craig Berry

Jeremy Corbyn’s destructive utopianism has been reaffirmed by Labour Party members – but there are signs of a widening divergence among Corbyn’s support base, with uncertain implications for Labour’s future After the emphatic re-election of Jeremy Corbyn as Leader of the Labour Party, speculation that the Labour Party might split in two is intensifying. It remains uncertain whether any of … Continue reading

26 September 2016 by Craig Berry
Categories: SPERI Comment Tags: , ,

Jeremy Corbyn: a Polanyian critique

Craig Berry

Corbynism represents a ‘fictitious commodity’ in the UK’s political marketplace Supporters of Jeremy Corbyn would be forgiven for assuming that, if one were to assess Corbynism – an admittedly crude term for the perspective of the Labour Party’s current leader and his main allies – through the prism of Karl Polanyi’s dialectical framework, the perspective represents a historical ‘counter-movement’.  As … Continue reading

8 September 2016 by Craig Berry
Categories: SPERI Comment Tags: , , , , , ,

Brexit Britain and the political economy of undemocracy: Part II – the left

Craig Berry

While the right acts decisively to restore the established order, the Corbyn experiment eschews both democracy and state power, and thus Labour’s best hope of transforming capitalism. Labour’s current predicament is one of many dimensions.  It is also not simply Labour’s dilemma, insofar as the turmoil engulfing the party is symptomatic of that which now characterises the basic notion of … Continue reading

17 August 2016 by Craig Berry
Categories: EU Referendum, SPERI Comment Tags: ,

Brexit Britain and the political economy of undemocracy: Part I – the right

Craig Berry

The aftermath of economic crisis, followed by Brexit, has seen the dismantling of democratic norms in Britain. The right benefits, while the left stands by. Another Conservative Prime Minister, another Downing Street speech drenched in one nation mythology.  Many will doubt Theresa May’s sincerity when she talks about equality and inclusion, but to conclude that she is being duplicitous would … Continue reading

10 August 2016 by Craig Berry
Categories: SPERI Comment Tags: , ,

Austerity has transformed the meaning and morality of work in the UK

Craig Berry

Measuring economic success through levels of employment obscures the unsustainable and oppressive nature of the UK’s recovery Work has of course always been central to capitalist organisation, since the ability of capital to extract surplus value from labour is at the essential core of accumulation processes. In post-crisis UK, however, work has become not only integral to the function of … Continue reading

19 July 2016 by Craig Berry
Categories: Austerity, Economics, Employment, Europe and the EU, Rethinking Recovery, SPERI Comment, Sustainability Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Coming Crisis: Neoliberalism’s survival and the crisis of imagination

Craig Berry

To capitalise on the crisis and create a post-neoliberal economic order, progressives need new lenses for understanding everyday economic life The last crisis was one of growth.  The next crisis may be coming, but the growth crisis goes on.  Yet capitalism, which cannot countenance stagnation, has survived.  How?  This relates, among other things, to how a given distribution of wealth … Continue reading

6 July 2016 by Craig Berry
Categories: SPERI Comment, The coming crisis

Brexit = austerity squared

Craig Berry

The UK’s withdrawal from the European Union is a product, ironically, of the political elite’s longstanding aversion to democratic self-rule The UK has voted to leave the European Union; well, technically. In practice, the 17.5 million people voting for Brexit will have been voting for many different things, not all of which are relevant to the EU or the UK’s … Continue reading

28 June 2016 by Craig Berry
Categories: SPERI Comment Tags: ,

From socialising capital to socialising capitalism

Craig Berry

Stewart Lansley’s advocacy of the sharing economy is the right idea at the right time, but social wealth funds would be a problematic instrument Stewart Lansley’s valuable 2012 book The Cost of Inequality offered one of the few sustained attempts to link inequality to the causes of the 2008 economic crisis, insofar as it was deemed a core characteristic of … Continue reading

9 June 2016 by Craig Berry
Categories: Economics, SPERI Comment Tags: , , ,

UK regions, the European Union and manufacturing exports

Craig Berry

New analysis of the trade in goods between the UK’s regions and the EU sheds new light on the potential regional implications of Brexit It is too simplistic to claim that the UK has a single relationship with the EU. Yet the regional dimension of UK/EU relations has received relatively little attention in the public debate around the implications of … Continue reading

26 May 2016 by Craig Berry
Categories: Economics, Europe and the EU, SPERI Comment Tags: , ,

The real ‘new politics’ of post-crisis Britain: Part II

Craig Berry

Austerity is anchored in a new politics of place, but Labour is adrift In part I of this post, I argued that, through the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ agenda, the Conservative government had successfully exploited post-crisis anxieties about place to justify its ongoing austerity crusade. In this second part, I argue that Labour has been too slow to grasp the centrality of … Continue reading

25 February 2016 by Craig Berry
Categories: Austerity, Craig Berry, Devolution, Politics and policy, SPERI Comment Tags: , , , , ,

The real ‘new politics’ of post-crisis Britain: Part I

Craig Berry

The Conservatives understand – and exploit – the electorate’s concerns about ‘place’ As I argue in my forthcoming book Austerity Politics and UK Economic Policy, if austerity were simply an argument about the merits of deficit reduction, its critics on the left would have won hands down.  Indeed, the regularity with which George Osborne now delays the deficit reduction end-date … Continue reading

18 February 2016 by Craig Berry
Categories: Craig Berry, Devolution, Economics, Politics and policy, Social science, SPERI Comment Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The government is right on pensioner protection – but for the wrong reasons

Craig Berry

Critics of the protection of pensioner benefit entitlements are playing into George Osborne’s hands The politics of austerity appears to have induced an unfortunate amnesia among the British political class. For a long time the state pensions ‘earnings link’ was a totemic issue on the left – almost mythically so.  For her critics, Margaret Thatcher’s 1980 decision to index the … Continue reading

14 January 2016 by Craig Berry
Categories: Austerity, Politics and policy, SPERI Comment, Tax, Welfare Tags: , , , , ,

The potential of workers’ capital in Britain’s economic renewal

Craig Berry

Recent governments have not focused sufficiently on addressing the chronic short-termism of pension fund investments The 2008 financial crisis and subsequent stagnation in the British economy gave renewed prominence to one of its longstanding handicaps. The relative lack of long-term investment can be associated with both the housing market and asset price booms which created significant volatility in the pre-crisis … Continue reading

6 November 2015 by Craig Berry
Categories: British growth crisis, Economics, Politics and policy, Social science, SPERI Comment, Welfare Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

You wanted it, you got it

Craig Berry

New Labour offered change for two decades, without ever really meaning it. Jeremy Corbyn is the near-inevitable consequence The remarkable emergence of Jeremy Corbyn from the relative obscurity of Labour’s backbenches has taken most political commentators by surprise – and indeed Corbyn himself. In hindsight, however, it seems to make perfect sense, especially once the implications of Ed Miliband’s changes … Continue reading

14 September 2015 by Craig Berry
Categories: Economics, Europe and the EU, Politics and policy, SPERI Comment Tags: , , , ,