Economy and Society

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    Fracking in the UK: how could a technologically advanced society choose to destroy itself?

Fracking in the UK: how could a technologically advanced society choose to destroy itself?

Theresa May recently proposed that £1billion of additional resources be directed to local communities and councils towards the development of hydraulic fracturing of shale gas (‘fracking’), despite the latter’s contribution to climate change. Daniel Nyberg and Christopher Wright explain how it is that the government supports such a policy.

Over the last couple of decades, fracking has emerged as a […]

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    How to deal with the toxic legacy of PFI in the NHS: options for policymakers

How to deal with the toxic legacy of PFI in the NHS: options for policymakers

The Private Finance Initiative has been used to build 127 hospitals and facilities but has also locked the NHS into decade-long contracts paying back debt at very high interest rates. Is there a way out? Vivek Kotecha analyses some of the options that are available to policymakers to address the problems caused by existing PFI schemes.

In our previous blog […]

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    The transformation of British politics: was it really caused by the 2008 crisis?

The transformation of British politics: was it really caused by the 2008 crisis?

The vote to leave the EU, the rise of the SNP, the demise of the Liberal Democrats, and Labour’s turn to the left mean British politics looks very different now than it did in 2008. But these changes are not the product of the 2008 crash per se; rather they are the result of the intense politicisation of issues […]

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    The depths of the cuts: the uneven geography of local government austerity

The depths of the cuts: the uneven geography of local government austerity

Drawing on spatial analysis of local authority budgets, Mia Gray and Anna Barford highlight the uneven impacts of UK austerity. They argue that it has actively reshaped the relationship between central and local government, shrinking the capacity of the local state, increasing inequality between local governments, and exacerbating territorial injustice.

Contemporary austerity in Britain has become both a powerful political […]

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    Who won Britain’s culture wars? The urban left’s mixed success

Who won Britain’s culture wars? The urban left’s mixed success

Although often ridiculed in the 1980s, the left’s social policies were on the winning side when it came to gender, sexuality, and environmentalism, writes James Curran. However, the same cannot be said for their politics of race, and certainly not for their economic policies.

During the 1980s, the urban left was rendered toxic. It was reviled by the press, demonised […]

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    Book Review: The Value of Everything: Making and Taking in the Global Economy

Book Review: The Value of Everything: Making and Taking in the Global Economy

In The Value of Everything: Making and Taking in the Global Economy, Mariana Mazzucato explores the concept of value today, showing how value extraction is now more highly rewarded than value creation. This is a meticulous and insightful analysis of value in the economy that will help to reopen the debate into ‘the value of everything’, writes Wannaphong Durongkaveroj.
If you are interested in this book […]

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    The power of negative thinking: why perceptions of immigration are resistant to facts

The power of negative thinking: why perceptions of immigration are resistant to facts

Research shows consistently high levels of concern among people in the UK over the scale of immigration and its impact on jobs and services. Drawing on new research on how people use and understand information about the economic impacts of immigration, Heather Rolfe writes there is a tendency to rely on personal accounts rather than on economic statistics.

The recent […]

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    Are we witnessing a ‘deal dividend’ effect on the economy?

Are we witnessing a ‘deal dividend’ effect on the economy?

The latest GDP data for 2018 shows an annual growth of about 1.6%. This may be reflecting expectations of an impending Brexit deal which would greatly reduce policy uncertainty, write Costas Milas and Michael Ellington. But if this growth is indeed conditional on a deal, no deal will result in no dividend.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has just […]