speri.comment: the political economy blog

Liberalisation of the Water Industry: What next for consumer and environmental protection?

Jon Morris

From April 1st companies in the UK can choose to switch their water provider; a domestic roll-out for households seems inevitable On April 1st the liberalisation of the English water industry for commercial consumers came into force.  This is the result of the 2014 Water Act which gives businesses, charities, and public sector customers in England the freedom to switch … Continue reading

13 April 2017 by
Categories: SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

The gig economy requires unions to embrace the Internet

The internet provides new opportunities to strengthen collective action and improve new forms of work These are hard times for trade unions. Private sector union membership in the US is down to under 7 per cent of workers. While private sector membership in the UK is higher, at 14 per cent, the ability of UK unions to win disputes, outside … Continue reading

11 April 2017 by
Categories: SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s not the gig economy, stupid

The gig economy has got us talking about the labour market, but the decline in trade union membership matters more Sometimes change comes suddenly and without warning, in big bold type on the front pages. But, often, the changes that really matter never make it to the headlines. Take the large falls in global poverty over the past few decades, … Continue reading

11 April 2017 by
Categories: SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

A crisis of control – what should the on-demand workforce be demanding?

To improve security at work we must bring together the demands of people in work with those looking to find work. When it comes to work, the UK is facing a crisis of control. We already feel among the highest sense of job insecurity of any country in Europe and work among the longest hours.  Low unemployment figures mask a … Continue reading

7 April 2017 by
Categories: SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Same as it ever was? Labour rights and worker organisation in the modern economy

SPERI and openDemocracy launch new series of articles on labour and work in the 21st century economy The ‘gig economy’.  Platform-working.  On-demand apps and algorithmic monitoring.  Outside of some policy, technology and academic circles these terms will draw blank looks from most people.  Yet ask people if they have heard of Uber, Deliveroo or TaskRabbit and the recognition will be … Continue reading

6 April 2017 by
Categories: SPERI Comment, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 1 comment

UK household food insecurity: the importance of income

Hannah Lambie-Mumford

Stark new food insecurity statistics highlight how many young people and those on low incomes are struggling to get enough food to eat. Food security figures released last week by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) show that 13 per cent of UK adults are only marginally food secure and that 8 per cent have low or very low food security. … Continue reading

5 April 2017 by
Categories: SPERI Comment | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Will Frankfurt, Paris and Dublin replace the City of London after Brexit?

Scott Lavery

Alternative EU financial centres are unlikely to supplant the City as Europe’s premier financial hub – but private and public actors within these urban centres are already seeking to ‘capitalise’ on Brexit It is often claimed that alternative financial centres (AFCs) within the EU are well-placed to benefit from Brexit. However, no comprehensive analysis of the positioning of AFCs in … Continue reading

3 April 2017 by
Categories: SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

EU business strategies and Brexit: Balancing proximity with politics

Scott Lavery

As Article 50 is ‘triggered’ business groups within EU member states are caught in a dilemma between proximity and politics: how to minimise trade barriers with the UK whilst maintaining the Single Market Powerful firms and business interest groups within the EU are likely to have a significant influence over the shape of the Article 50 negotiations. Despite this, there … Continue reading

30 March 2017 by
Categories: SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Dead-end city: Reflections on the marginalized in post-crisis Madrid

Daniel Briggs

A study of Valdemingómez in Spain’s capital highlights the social consequences of austerity and the suffering it can cause Valdemingómez in Madrid is one of Europe’s largest urban ghettos rife with drugs, violence and destitution. When I first heard about it ten years ago when in London, I found difficult to believe that a place with such multifaceted social problems … Continue reading

29 March 2017 by
Categories: SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Journeys to democracy? Transport worker organisation in Africa

Tom Goodfellow

Urban informal transport acts as a barometer of political trajectories in Africa and exposes tensions between democracy and worker organisations For a window onto a country’s politics and political economy, look at how urban transport is organised. Britain’s embrace of Uber, and the beleaguered company’s exploitation of a legal loophole to allow its drivers to operate in places where they … Continue reading

27 March 2017 by
Categories: SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Remaking the case for a ‘developmental state’ in Britain

Tony Payne

Britain urgently needs a new national development strategy after the Brexit vote and must find the will to embrace a radically different model of the state Sometimes you just have to say it again, doubling down on what you think. In one of the first posts I wrote on this site in 2013, I proclaimed: ‘We are all developing countries … Continue reading

23 March 2017 by
Categories: Inclusive Growth, SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 comments

The political economy of the White Paper on The Future of Europe: Part Two

Owen Parker

The Commission’s White Paper understates both the depth of the crisis associated with the EU status quo and what needs to be done about it In Part One of this blog I offered an overview of the European Commission’s recent White Paper (WP) on The Future of Europe (at 27) and highlighted some of the political debate and division it … Continue reading

22 March 2017 by
Categories: SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

The political economy of the White Paper on the Future of Europe: Part One

Owen Parker

The Commission’s new White Paper offers some interesting post-Brexit scenarios for ‘the future of Europe’, but realising any of these will be difficult in a context of political divisions among the remaining 27 states At the beginning of March the European Commission published a White Paper (WP) on The Future of Europe at 27 (i.e. the current EU-28 minus the … Continue reading

21 March 2017 by
Categories: SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The problems with measuring tax systems

Nicholas Shaxson

In debates about tax policy we need to de-emphasise the role of economics and measurement and rekindle the politics In the past few years there have been several efforts to understand and even measure ‘spillovers’ – that is, how one state’s tax or legal system can transmit damage to other states’ tax or legal systems.  Perhaps the best known of … Continue reading

16 March 2017 by
Categories: Inclusive Growth, SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Re-framing tax spillover

Interest in ‘tax spillover’ is growing but there is a need to reframe existing analysis. Our new framework would give a fuller reading of international and domestic tax vulnerabilities Tax continues to fascinate the media, politicians and international political economists.  In that approximate order there is also an increasing demand for data to support action on what many think to … Continue reading

14 March 2017 by
Categories: SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lost in Dicey: judges, Brexit and the constitution

Mick Moran

The Supreme Court’s Article 50 judgement was based on a constitutional fallacy that puts the stability of the United Kingdom at risk On 24 January this year the United Kingdom  Supreme Court dismissed the appeal of the UK government against the  decision of the English and Welsh Divisional Court (colloquially the Court of Appeal) over the legal conditions under which … Continue reading

13 March 2017 by
Categories: SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Italian Constitutional Referendum: the fears behind the No vote

The varied generational impact of Italy’s enduring economic crisis was a central factor behind the No vote The result of the Constitutional referendum held on 4 December 2016 in Italy was a watershed moment in Italian politics, and in the leadership path of Matteo Renzi.  Despite the efforts of the former Prime Minister, only 40% of the electorate supported the … Continue reading

9 March 2017 by
Categories: SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

The (distorted) issue of inequality

Stephen Buzdugan

The populist right’s focus on race and immigration claims to be about fairness and inequality, but actually distracts from the more acute matter of the concentration of wealth and income at the very top As many have already pointed out, the vote for ‘Brexit’ and the election of Donald Trump are linked by their association with the apparent triumph of … Continue reading

8 March 2017 by
Categories: Inclusive Growth, SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What the Lin-Zhang debate tells us about Chinese economic power

Ahmad-Risky-Umar

The debates about the role of the state in economic development between two Chinese economists at Peking University should be followed closely In November 2016, The Economist published an interesting article about the debate between two leading economists at Peking University, Justin Yifu Lin and Weiying Zhang.  The two high-profile economists represent two ideological leanings and offer conflicting perspectives on … Continue reading

7 March 2017 by
Categories: SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

IPE’s strategic silence on capitalism and moral order

The study of how neoliberalism is remaking moral order in Africa reveals important insights for scholars of political economy To-date, political economy scholarship has only cautiously engaged with matters of moral economy in contemporary society.  This is strikingly different from the recent surge in respective scholarship and debates in anthropology and sociology.  The moral properties of capitalist economy at a … Continue reading

2 March 2017 by
Categories: SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

← Older posts

Newer posts →