Posts by Craig Berry

Craig Berry, Deputy Director at SPERI

Official launch of the PSA political economy group in Cambridge

SPERI is delighted to report that the Political Studies Association’s British and Comparative Political Economy Specialist Group will be formally launched in September. The group is convened by SPERI’s deputy director Craig Berry, and honorary fellow Jeremy Green. The group will hold its inaugural workshop at the University of Cambridge on Wednesday 13th September. More information about the workshop, which … Continue reading

18 August 2017 by Craig Berry
Categories: News

Has the salience of ‘saving’ in British political discourse declined?

The practice of saving has been complexified, but the concept has until recently retained discursive significance as part of an ‘asset-based welfare’ agenda. The 2017 election may, however, have signalled a significant shift in British economic statecraft The value of saving has been preached by the leaders of both main political parties in the UK for a considerable period of … Continue reading

9 August 2017 by Craig Berry
Categories: SPERI Comment Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

The declining salience of ‘saving’ in British politics | New SPERI brief

A new report published today by SPERI finds that the salience of the concept of ‘savings’ in British political discourse appears to have declined.  In this new SPERI British Political Econony Brief, Craig Berry explores how savers and the saving process have been discussed in the election manifestos of the Conservative Party and the Labour Party since 2005, up to the … Continue reading

1 August 2017 by Craig Berry
Categories: News

The proletariat problem: general election 2017 and the class politics of Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn

Craig Berry

The election continued the swing of working-class voters to the Conservative Party – but also the more important trend of working-class disengagement from politics. Can Labour respond without succumbing to populism? The general election was peculiar for a large number of reasons. One of those reasons, relatively overlooked to date, is that – amid some stunning victories in affluent areas … Continue reading

5 July 2017 by Craig Berry
Categories: SPERI Comment Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

General election 2017 and the incompleteness of industrial strategy

Craig Berry

Industrial strategy is the Achilles heel of British economic statecraft, but the radical approaches promised by both the Conservatives and Labour fall short of a transformative agenda When Theresa May suggested that economic growth would be pursued much more inclusively under her premiership than under David Cameron and George Osborne, a renewed focus on industrial strategy was offered as a … Continue reading

21 June 2017 by Craig Berry
Categories: SPERI Comment Tags: , , , , , , , ,

General election 2017 and the insidiousness of austerity politics

Craig Berry

The Corbyn ‘surge’ denied the May government the majority it took for granted – but the implication that austerity in the UK is over is far from clear There is little doubt that austerity has been dented by the outcome of the 2017 general election. But the notion that Theresa May’s failure to win a majority for the Conservative Party, … Continue reading

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

The triple lock is a pensions policy, not a pensioner policy

Craig Berry

While the current method of uprating the state pension is imperfect, Theresa May’s proposal to abolish it is based on a flawed view of intergenerational fairness It is now almost certain that the state pension ‘triple lock’ will be abolished once Theresa May retains her premiership at the 2017 general election. The triple lock dictates that the state pension (both … Continue reading

30 May 2017 by Craig Berry
Categories: SPERI Comment Tags: , , , ,

Brexit Britain and undemocracy: an epilogue

Craig Berry

Paradoxically, the snap election is a further nail in the coffin of actually-existing British democracy – and reinforces the role of Brexit in the revival of conservative statecraft Theresa May’s decision to call a snap election for June continues Britain’s descent towards ‘undemocracy’, a trend crystallised in the 2016 EU referendum.  While the notion of ‘post-democracy’ signals the marginalisation of … Continue reading

28 April 2017 by Craig Berry
Categories: SPERI Comment Tags: , , , ,

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