speri.comment: the political economy blog

‘De-globalisation’, or ‘re-globalisation’?

Tony Payne

The former is the new project of the populist right; the latter needs to be the new vision of the centre-left Globalisation is under attack these days from all quarters. It has of course long faced criticism from the left for being divisive and undemocratic.  That’s not new.  But, remarkably and in an act of brazen but effective political theft, … Continue reading

23 January 2017 by
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Margaret Thatcher, Theresa May and industrial strategy

What does the discursive appeal to industrial strategy by Margaret Thatcher and Theresa May tell us about the prospect for radical policy change or continuity? Theresa May’s speech on July 11th 2016, delivered at the launch of her national campaign to become leader of the Conservative Party, was notable for its assertion that a government under her leadership would implement … Continue reading

19 January 2017 by
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Angela Merkel’s Germany: still liberals’ best hope for 2017?

Simon Bulmer

To secure a fourth term a less liberal version of Angela Merkel may emerge as she reacts to the domestic and global tumult of the last year 2016 was a tumultuous year in global politics, symbolized by Britain’s vote to leave the European Union and Donald Trump securing the American presidency. Trump has challenged the fundamentals of US external relations, … Continue reading

18 January 2017 by
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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
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Brexit and free trade fallacies Part Two

Matthew Bishop

The British government is displaying an abject grasp of global trade politics; ironically the EU red tape the Brexiteers wish to burn is the very basis on which the ‘free trade’ they hope for rests In the previous post, I discussed how negotiations around ‘free trade’ and the agreements that sustain it are no longer really about tariffs.  Rather they … Continue reading

16 January 2017 by
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Brexit and free trade fallacies Part One

Matthew Bishop

Modern trade politics is about regulatory harmonisation and attracting flows of investment, and this calls into question the very idea of ‘trade’ as we have understood it until now On taking up office as Secretary of State for Brexit, David Davis caused consternation – and mockery – when he appeared not to understand EU trade law, suggesting the government would … Continue reading

11 January 2017 by
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European sovereign bond-backed securities: a dangerous idea

The securitization of European government bonds is likely to increase hierarchies in the Eurozone. Eurobonds represent the most viable path to fiscal solidarity and political union Recently, European policymakers and representatives of financial institutions met in Paris at a workshop organised by the European Systemic Risk Board, the body which is responsible for the macroprudential oversight of the EU financial … Continue reading

10 January 2017 by
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Labour struggles and acts of physical and symbolic violence

Heather Connolly

The ‘shirt ripping’ Air France trial highlights the usefulness of Bourdieu’s analysis to understanding conflicts within financialised capitalism On November 30th 2016 suspended sentences were handed down by a French court to three former Air France employees.  The three men received the sentences after having been found guilty of violent conduct for having attacked two Air France executives after a … Continue reading

9 January 2017 by
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Is there a Scottish economic model?

Ewan Gibbs

Nicola Sturgeon is keen to emphasis a distinctive Scottish model – yet the SNP’s style and rhetoric differ from the substance and reality of Scotland’s economy Last November Professor Tony Payne introduced Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, before she delivered SPERI’s Annual Lecture, by highlighting how the vision for Scotland she set out in the 2015 general election represented a … Continue reading

5 January 2017 by
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Punching above its weight: Cuba’s medical internationalism

Gail Hurley

After Castro’s death and with profound political and economic change across the Americas what is the future for Cuba’s medical internationalism? The death last month of Fidel Castro at age 90 prompted a flurry of commentary simultaneously proclaiming the former Cuban leader a hero or a tyrant.  Biographers and commentators will no doubt pore over his tenure and legacy for … Continue reading

4 January 2017 by
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2016 and the return of the nation-state

Whilst the turbulence of this year has caused political shocks the apparent resurgence of the nation-state should be no surprise Much of the political rhetoric that has been deployed during this period of political turbulence can make 2016 appear as the year the nation-state returned.  Yet for all the shock value associated with the year’s political events this apparent resurgence … Continue reading

21 December 2016 by
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Liberal vs populist economic policies in France 2017

Renee Buhr

Whoever is elected as President in April is set to introduce a break from business as usual in French economic policy On November 20 and 27 2016, Les Républicains – a collection of parties of the right and centre – held open primary elections to determine their candidate for the French presidential elections scheduled for 23 April 2017.   The results … Continue reading

20 December 2016 by
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Where next for discussions on household food insecurity in the UK?

Hannah Lambie-Mumford

Finding progressive policy responses that tackle food insecurity is essential for reducing in work poverty At this time of year, many of us are moved by the stories bought to the fore by festive charitable appeals.  Food banks are an increasingly prominent form of charitable giving and at the beginning of this month Fareshare and the Trussell Trust ran their … Continue reading

19 December 2016 by
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The condition of labour and democracy under the state of emergency in Turkey

Mehmet

Turkey’s AKP government is using the state of emergency to curtail labour rights and introduce regressive economic reforms Following the failed coup on 15 July by supporters of the Gülenist movement within the army, Turkey’s ruling political Islamist AKP government introduced a state of emergency with an ‘aim of taking swift and effective steps required to eliminate the threat against … Continue reading

16 December 2016 by
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Austerity in the tropics

Valbona Muzaka

Despite growing protests Michel Temer’s government is set to embed austerity into Brazil’s constitution and risk unwinding the social progress of recent decades A new joke is making the rounds in Brazil, in which an employee about to retire submits all the relevant documents and receives the distressing reply that the death certificate is missing. The joke is prompted by … Continue reading

15 December 2016 by
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The political determinants of miracle growth in Rwanda

Pritish Behuria and Tom Goodfellow

Rwanda’s government works hard to maintain a balancing act between the complex range of political and economic factors that underpin the country’s recent rapid economic growth To understand why growth is sustained in some developing countries and not in others, we need to understand the politics of those countries. That much we know. Or at least, there was an ‘almost … Continue reading

14 December 2016 by
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The end of globalisation?

Jeremy Green

Proclamations of the ‘death’ of globalisation are premature Globalisation is in critical condition. It may even be ‘dead’. This is the emerging consensus among many commentators. Economically, the claim is based on the observed decline in global trade growth and cross-border investment flows since the financial crisis. Politically, the argument is grounded in the plethora of stalled trade deals, from … Continue reading

13 December 2016 by
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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
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How new donor countries are reshaping the development aid landscape

Gail Hurley

Development aid is increasingly being provided by middle-income economies. This is a significant change in a shifting global aid landscape A growing number of countries in Central and Eastern Europe (such as Croatia, Serbia, Poland and Romania) and in central Asia (e.g. Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan) are now opening formal development aid agencies.  I recently delivered a United Nations Development Programme … Continue reading

6 December 2016 by
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The grief before the storm

David Coates

Overcoming the grief caused by Trump’s victory requires us to analyse the sources of our pain When Hillary Clinton gave her concession speech on November 9th, admitting defeat to an opponent who had received a lower share of the popular vote than she had, many of her supporters in the room with her, and those watching from afar, actually wept … Continue reading

5 December 2016 by
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