© 2018

Imagining Britain’s Economic Future, c.1800–1975

Trade, Consumerism, and Global Markets

  • David Thackeray
  • Andrew Thompson
  • Richard Toye

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Markets of the Future

  3. Imagining Global Trade

  4. Rethinking Decolonisation

  5. Back Matter
    Pages 301-308

About this book


Following the Brexit vote, this book offers a timely historical assessment of the different ways that Britain’s economic future has been imagined and how British ideas have influenced global debates about market relationships over the past two centuries. The 2016 EU referendum hinged to a substantial degree on how competing visions of the UK should engage with foreign markets, which in turn were shaped by competing understandings of Britain’s economic past.


The book considers the following inter-related questions:


-          What roles does economic imagination play in shaping people’s behaviour and how far can insights from behavioural economics be applied to historical issues of market selection?


-          How useful is the concept of the ‘official mind’ for explaining the development of market relationships?


-          What has been the relationship between expanding communications and the development of markets?


-          How and why have certain regions or groupings (e.g. the Commonwealth) been ‘unimagined’- losing their status as promising markets for the future?


Market Relationships European Referendum 1975 Commonwealth Empire European Economic Community

Editors and affiliations

  • David Thackeray
    • 1
  • Andrew Thompson
    • 2
  • Richard Toye
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of HistoryUniversity of ExeterExeterUnited Kingdom
  2. 2.Department of HistoryUniversity of ExeterExeterUnited Kingdom
  3. 3.Department of HistoryUniversity of ExeterExeterUnited Kingdom

About the editors

David Thackeray is Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Exeter, UK.


Andrew Thompson is Professor of History at the University of Exeter, UK, and Chief Executive of the Arts and Humanities Research Council.


Richard Toye is Professor of History at the University of Exeter, UK. 

Bibliographic information