British Capitalism Before the Crisis

  • Scott LaveryEmail author
Part of the Building a Sustainable Political Economy: SPERI Research & Policy book series (SPERIRP)


During the 1970s, the advanced capitalist economies entered into a period of deep ‘stagflation’. The 1970s crisis reflected the unravelling of the social compact which had underpinned the Bretton Woods settlement. The crisis was ‘resolved’ through a series of neoliberal reforms designed to discipline labour and re-establish the primacy of market forces. A new growth model of ‘privatised Keynesianism’ subsequently emerged in Britain, which maintained aggregate demand through increasing private debt across the economy. Whilst ‘privatised Keynesianism’ generated growth in the pre-crisis conjuncture, it also rendered Britain peculiarly exposed to the 2008 financial crisis. The chapter argues that whilst the ‘growth model perspective’ provides a useful characterisation of pre-crisis British capitalism, it also suffers from a number of theoretical limitations.


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute (SPERI)University of SheffieldSheffieldUK

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