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Britain’s productivity puzzle and the failings of Trussonomics (LSE September 2022)

This LSE blog, co-authored by Ben Clift and Sean McDaniel, argues that Britain’s productivity puzzle reflects not individual failings of workers, but dysfunctionalities in Britain’s model of capitalism and the politics that upholds it. It uses this insight to critiques the Truss Government's economic policy agenda. It discusses the overlapping problems of British productivity. They explain why any analysis that foregrounds the supposed laziness of British workers only serves to let politicians, institutions, and the state off the hook.

This draws on Ben ands Sean's research published in the British Journal of Politics and International RelationsLink opens in a new window . This paper was recently selected by the editors as part of a virtual special issue on British Politics in times of crisis.



Contested Technocratic Governance: Trussonomics and the OBR (UK in a Changing Europe - September 2022)

In a blof for the UK in a Changing Europe, Ben Clift explores tensions between the Truss Governmetn adn the OBR. In light of the lack of economic forecast from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) accompanying the recent ‘mini-budget’, this blog examines the political challenges facing technocratic economic governance institutions such as the OBR.



European clashes of capitalisms and political economic restructuring through successive Economic crises (SPERI blog, October 2022)

A SPERI, blog co-authored with Sean McDaniel (Manchester Metropolitan University) analyses of the The clash of capitalisms through successive European crises: towards a nuanced understanding of capitalist restructuring. European pressures manifestly constrain and shape national capitalisms, yet this analysis finds they are fragmented and differentiating, producing capitalist variegation rather than convergence.

This draws on Ben ands Sean's research published in New Political Economy.



OBR commentary on Sunak's spring statement: the inevitable politics of technocratic economic governance (UKiCE, April 2022)

Ben Clift uses the Chancellor's spring statement to explore the yawning gap between the theory and practice of Technocratic economic governance. He argues that the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR)’s commentary on Sunak's statement, and its other activities, reveal the multifaceted politics inherent in the operations of this independent and ‘apolitical’ body.



Technocratic economic governance is a much more social and political process than many advocates of economic rules-based policy acknowledge, (LSE, April 2022)

Analysing UK macroeconomic policy rules and their operation unearths numerous dimensions of the politics of technocratic Fiscal policy-making, writes Ben Clift. Firstly, policy rules are marshalled for partisan purposes. Secondly, a politics of economic ideas surrounds the invention, revision, and interpretation of fiscal rules. Thirdly, Technocratic economic governance entails selecting methodological approaches necessarily built on particular political economic assumptions. Finally, politicians cook the books to present their economic record favourably against fiscal yardsticks, thus there is an inevitable politics of technocratic economic governance.

This blog draws on Ben's newly publishedLink opens in a new window British Politics articleLink opens in a new window.