speri.comment: the political economy blog

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
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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
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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
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Donald Trump, Dodd-Frank and the politics of academic critique

As opposition mounts to post-crisis regulatory reforms, scholars should rethink their critical evaluation of the progress that has been made After his inauguration on 20 January 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump announced his intention to roll back key sections of the Dodd-Frank Consumer Protection Act signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2010. The markets were jubilant. As the … Continue reading

1 March 2017 by
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Inclusive growth at city-region level: a perspective from Greater Manchester

Ruth Lupton

Greater Manchester is an important test-bed for how inclusive growth can be put into practice at a local level The Inclusive Growth Analysis Unit (IGAU) was established in January 2016 by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) and The University of Manchester, as part of JRF’s work on cities, growth and poverty, and the University’s new Urban Institute and wider efforts … Continue reading

28 February 2017 by
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The American kids are alright

Rick Rowden

The significant public and political protests during the first month of the Trump presidency represent the backlash to the backlash In the US and around the world many have been shocked by the reactionary politics that swept Donald Trump into the White House. Trump’s overt hostility toward women and Mexican immigrants during his campaign was unprecedented, and his brazen executive … Continue reading

23 February 2017 by
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Social policy: a vital partner in any inclusive growth strategy

Hannah Lambie-Mumford

Social policy needs to be seen as a partner in, not just one part of inclusive growth People are at the centre of the economy. This is of course an obvious statement in practical terms but, in the age of austerity and rising inequality and in-work poverty, it is clearer than ever that the current political economic model over looks … Continue reading

22 February 2017 by
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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
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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
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Does Benoît Hamon represent a ‘New Left’ in French socialist politics?

Renee Buhr

Analysing the policy differences between Manuel Valls and Benoît Hamon show how the new Socialist presidential candidate is mapping a new direction for the French left In a previous blog for SPERI published in December, I argued that the right-wing candidates competing for the French Presidency represented a break from business as usual in French economic policy.  Francois Fillon’s apparent … Continue reading

13 February 2017 by
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In Cuba, the post-Fidel era began ten years ago

Ramon Centeno

Under Raúl Castro’s presidency Cuba’s centrally planned economy has significantly integrated market socialist features Ever since Fidel Castro died in November 2016, foreign observers – journalists, political tourists, and the like – have flocked to the streets of Havana.  Let’s go and see communist Cuba before it is too late! they reason. What this reaction misses is that Cuba has already changed: … Continue reading

8 February 2017 by
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Rising powers to the rescue? The future of the liberal economic international order

Richard Woodward

Those touting China and other rising powers as saviours of the liberal economic international order are likely to be disappointed Donald Trump’s election as President of the United States has sponsored a series of obituaries for the liberal economic international order the US has championed since the 1940s.  In truth the retreat of the liberal international order predates Trump’s arrival … Continue reading

7 February 2017 by
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Pay ratio reporting: why the time for action is now

Stuart Hill

Large pay inequalities fuel inequality in the UK. The Government should act to introduce new legislation and measures without delay Pay ratio reporting is currently a very hot topic.  Both the Prime Minister and Jeremy Corbyn have talked recently about the need to have private sector pay ratio reporting, and a Conservative MP also introduced a paper on corporate governance … Continue reading

2 February 2017 by
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What ASEAN needs to learn from Brexit

Ahmad-Risky-Umar

ASEAN needs to develop stronger leadership and become more democratic. Failure to do this will mean it continue to be fragmented and vulnerable to the danger of ‘breaking up’ Recent crises in the European Union, from Brexit to the recent Italian Constitutional referendum have sparked debate about the future of the EU, not only in the Europe, but also outside … Continue reading

31 January 2017 by
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In 2017 the ‘centre’ must realise politics is not a technical exercise

Terry Hathaway

Post truth, fake news and Russian hacking are all helping liberals ignore that their politics is political (and disagreeable), but depoliticised liberalism cannot hold against xenophobic nationalism 2016 was a momentous year for politics, with two stand out events – the referendum result on the UK’s membership of the EU and the election of Donald Trump as US President – … Continue reading

30 January 2017 by
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The unravelling of Hollande’s ‘anti-austerity’ programme and the crisis of French socialism

Sean McDaniel

With the failure of Hollande’s promise of ‘le changement’, ahead of this year’s elections the French Socialists find themselves severely weakened and maybe even at breaking point France heads to the polls in the spring to elect its new president. The uncertainty surrounding the election, wherein far right leader Marine Le Pen and the youthful centrist Emmanuel Macron are both … Continue reading

26 January 2017 by
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Italy after the referendum: when change leads to immobility

Ariana Giovannini

A month after the Italian constitutional referendum and nothing has really changed. The country has a new government and Prime Minister, yet the political and significant economic challenges remain After the resounding No vote returned by the Italian electorate on December 4th, the former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who staked his future on the outcome of the constitutional reform referendum … Continue reading

24 January 2017 by
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‘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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