By Andrew Gamble
The Thatcher period was once a turbulent and arguable interval in British politics. Andrew Gamble's authoritative account - now revised and up to date to hide Thatcher's fall and legacy - analyses the ideology, statecraft, and fiscal and social programme of the Thatcher executive. He explores rival interpretations of Thatcherism and assesses the proof for claims that the Thatcher govt reworked British politics. a brand new end considers the Conservative occasion after Thatcher.
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Extra resources for The Free Economy and the Strong State: The Politics of Thatcherism
In this way a class of sub-citizens is created, consisting of those who, being unable to participate in markets, are forced to remain dependent upon the state. Such dependency becomes a stigma and allows the demands of these groups to be disregarded. 15 Representation The second challenge to social democracy arose over the representation of interests and the determination of the public interest. One of the permanent problems for any state is how to mobilise consent. During the 1970s the characteristic social-democratic modes of representation began to appear inadequate for the task of legitimating the complex ensemble of agencies, institutions, powers and responsibilities that make up the modern state.
Its ability to protect the public interest will be questioned if in practice it adopts a policy of laissez-faire towards whatever is done in the private sector. The third justification for a strong state concerns efficiency. The rolling back of collectivism is not enough. What is also required is a forceful and imaginative state policy aimed at modernising the economy by speeding up the pace of change and making the whole of society more competitive and enterprising. On this view markets are a valuable instrument of policy for forcing through change.
The advent of the New Right in the 1970s marked a further stage in this development. For many British conservatives the free economy came to signify notjust a national but an international economic space. Its defence was indissolubly tied up with preserving the leading role played by the United States and with maintaining strong military forces against the threat of Soviet aggression. The free economy and the strong state The doctrine of a free economy and a strong state is therefore capable of several different interpretations, but at its heart is a conception of the political and economic institutions appropriate to a free society.
The Free Economy and the Strong State: The Politics of Thatcherism by Andrew Gamble