Thatcherism

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Thatcherism

the economic and social policies associated with the British prime minister (1979-90) Margaret Thatcher, which replaced an era of KEYNESIAN ECONOMICS and ‘consensualist’ politics and CORPORATISM in the UK with an emphasis on MONETARISM and market mechanisms and a more confrontational style of politics, especially in the introduction of greater controls over trade unions.

Sociologists have debated the political character and implications of Thatcherism. While Stuart HALL et al. (eds) (Policing the Crisis, 1978, and The Politics of Thatcherism, 1983) have characterized the political style of Thatcherism as involving a marriage of free-market ideology, strong state, and ‘authoritarian populism’, Jessop et al., Thatcherism, (1989) present what they regard as a ‘more rounded account of Thatcherism’, analysable in terms of the interrelated implications of its 'social base’, ‘accumulation strategy’, 'state strategy’, and ‘hegemonic project’. Thatcherism is seen as the Conservative Party's response to the continuing long-term relative decline in the British economy and in the capacity of the state to regulate economic and social relations (see also FISCAL CRISIS IN THE CAPITALIST STATE). In these circumstances, a new social base is sought in ‘popular capitalism’ (e.g. home ownership, a widening of share ownership based on PRIVATIZATION), while adopting an accumulation strategy which (in contrast with Germany or Japan) involves opening the economy to international capitalism. The main 'state strategy’ associated with these moves is the fostering of’neoliberal’ state forms, including a rolling back of corporatist arrangements. Finally, a ‘hegemonic project’, involving acceptance of a degree of division into ‘two nations’ (e.g. the rejection of a 'social contract’) and the building of a populist emphasis on law and order and raison d’état, has tended to replace the social inclusiveness associated with the ‘postwar compromise’. The question remains whether this is too negative an assessment of Thatcherism, whether Thatcherism may succeed in building a long-term basis for its own continuation, including the achievement of lasting improvements in the performance of the British economy, genuine benefits for consumers and improvements in industrial relations recognized on all sides, or whether there are weaknesses in its economic and social strategies which will provoke a reaction.

References in periodicals archive ?
It is absolutely crucial that the UK Government commits to keeping the British State inside the single market, and the European Free Trade Association, and that our public services are not risked in the interests of Thatcherite ideology.
Yet, despite all the "supply side" reforms introduced by Thatcherite governments, unemployment has been much higher since 1980 than in the 1950s and 1960s -- 7.
Since its release, critics and audiences have responded enthusiastically to the film's humane and humanist response to Thatcherite greed and selfishness and to its courageous attempt to represent, in the figures of the film's protagonists Cyril and Shirley, "kinds of goodness and basic decency in action" (Watson 95).
Or maybe just one word will do, borrowed from a headline in Rupert Murdoch's Thatcherite tabloid, The Sun: "Gotcha
Vital public housing stock will vanish under ministers' plans to extend the Thatcherite policy to housing association tenants, research found.
Historians have not yet truly come to terms with the weaknesses of that muddled era of centralisation and Thatcherite socialism.
DAVID Cameron has denied being a Thatcherite - despite arguing in an interview that: "We are all Thatcherites now".
I had quoted the Daily Mail of February 5, 2008, which said: "Shadow Chancellor (then George Osborne) would keep Labour's spending pledges despite calls for Thatcherite tax cuts.
Far from moderating the vicious policies of Cameron''s Eton chums, they are hostage to the rabid Thatcherite right - if the Lib-Dems get stroppy, it's a snap general election and back to holding Lib-Dem meetings in a London taxi.
AN ALAN Ayckbourn play originally written as a critique of Thatcherite greed is set to be staged by LIPA students.
Written by Liverpudlian Alan Bleasdale, as a sequel to an earlier television play, Boys From The Blackstuff follows five unemployed tarmac layers as they struggle to cope with life in a rapidly-declining Thatcherite Britain.
The fact that Blair was a religious Thatcherite leading a spineless Labour Party did not of course in recent times assist with any progressive agenda.