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Project Updates

Ben Clift presents project work on the Politics of Economic Expertise at the MaxPo Closing conference, Sciences Po, Paris October 2022.

The talk entitled The Politics of Economic Expertise and Technocratic Economic Governance amidst Capitalist Instability and Pervasive Uncertainty explores tensions between the OBR, and technocratic economic governance more broadly, and the short-lived and ill-fated Liz Truss admininstration in the UK.

Project research features in an LSE blog on the UK's Productivity PuzzleLink opens in a new window and the Truss Government (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. This draws on Ben and Sean's research published in the British Journal of Politics and International RelationsLink opens in a new windowLink opens in a new window . This paper was selected by the editors as part of a virtual special issue on British Politics in times of crisis.

Ben Clift publishes blog on Contested Technocratic Governance: Trussonomics and the OBR (UK in a Changing Europe - September 2022)

This blog for the UK in a Changing Europe explores tensions between the Truss Government and the OBR. In light of the lack of economic forecast from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) accompanying the September 2022 ‘mini-budget’, this blog examines the political challenges facing technocratic economic governance institutions such as the OBR.

Ben Clift publishes LSE British Politics and Policy blogLink opens in a new window on the politics of Technocratic Economic Governance, April 2022

The blog explores how Technocratic economic governance is a more social and political process than many advocates of rules-based policy acknowledge. It draws on insights from Ben's newly publishedLink opens in a new window British Politics articleLink opens in a new window.

Ben Clift publishes UK in a Changing Europe blogLink opens in a new window on Sunak's Spring Statement, April 2022

The blog explores the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR)'s unexpectedly normative commentary on the statement, shedding light on the relationship between the Office and the Chancellor.

Ben Clift Presents Project work at Max Planck Institute, Cologne, Janaury 2022.

Ben presented Project work (co-authored with Sean McDaniel) at the online Seminar organised by Prof. Lucio Baccaro, Max Planck Institute, Cologne, January 2022. Our paper was entitled ‘The Comparative Political Economy of British and European capitalisms, the UK & French Growth Models, the Productivity Puzzle, and Brexit’.

Ben Clift Presents Project work at PAIS Research Conference, June 2021

Ben constructed a panel and presented project findings at the PAIS Annual Research Conference, University of Warwick. The panel brought together established scholars, post-doctoral researchers, PhD students, and explored various dimensions of the Politics of Economic Ideas, from elite perspectives to the everyday. Ben's paper was entitled The Unobtrusive Politics of Technocratic Economic Governance: OBR Forecasting & the Politics of Economic Method.

Ben Clift Scheduled to Present Project work at Council of European Studies Virtual Conference, June 2021

Ben co-organised a panel entitled 'The politics of economic expertise in times of European crisis' at the 2021 CES conference. Ben's paper (co-authored with Ben Rosamond) was entitled 'Technocratic reason in hard times: politics of economic expertise and the discursive construction of Brexit'. Panel participants include, Vivien Schmidt - Boston University, Jacqueline Best - University of Ottawa, Antoine Vauchez - University Paris 1”, Oddny Helgasdottir (Copenhagen Business School), Dr Muireann O’Dwyer, (University of St Andrews), Scott James (KCL), and Rune Møller Stahl (University of Copenhagen).

Ben Clift interviewed by about technocratic economic governance and the politics of economic ideas, April 2021

Ben Clift gave a wide-ranging interview on central project themes of the role of economic expertise in economic policy-making, how economics ideas can evolve within technocratic institutions, and the relationship between economic models and expertise and economic policy-making.

Ben Clift Presents Project work at International Studies Association Conference, April 2021

Ben Clift presents project research on the changing tectonic plates of fiscal rectitude at a session dedicated to the comparative political economy of COVID responses: Chair: Hubert Zimmermann (University of Marburg); Other Participants: Eleni Tsingou (Copenhagen Business School ), Manuela Moschella (Scuola Normale Superiore ), Miguel Otero-Iglesias (Elcano Royal Institute), Matthias M. Matthijs (Johns Hopkins University )

Ben Clift publishes changing fiscal orthodoxies blog post, March 2021

Ben Clift published a blog post exploring the comparative political economy of changing fiscal policy orthodoxies.

Ben Clift Presents Draft Outputs at Project Workshop, February 2021

Ben Clift presented a series of draft book chapters and project papers at a specially convened two day online workshop dedicated to the project's findings. The participants and contributors were: Andrew Gamble (Sheffield & Cambridge) Charlotte Rommerskirchen (Edinburgh), Ben Rosamond (Copenhagen), Liam Stanley (Sheffield), Gabe Siles-Brugge (Warwick), and Jim Tomlinson (Glasgow).

Ben Clift Presents Project work at PSA /MMU Growth Models Workshop, December 2020

Ben Clift presents a paper (with co-author Sean McDaniel) on Growth Models, Comparative Capitalisms and the UK productivity puzzle at a dedicated workshop on growth models analysis.

Ben Clift quoted in the New York Times, March 2020

Ben Clift was quoted in the New York Times commenting on the economic impact of the COVID crisis, Brexit's effects on the UK economy, and on the key measures in the UK budget.

COVID and project dissemination activities during 2020

COVID took a heavy toll on project plans to share work in progress with academic colleagues in 2020. Scheduled conference presentations at the Political Studies Association (Edinburgh), Council of European Studies (Iceland), American Political Science Association (San Francisco), and a conference at Parliament honouring the memory of Professor David Coates, all fell victim to COVID.

In addition, I was due to present early research findings at departmental seminars at the department of political economy, Kings College, London; at the Centre for European Studies, Science Po, Paris; and in the University Institute of Lisbon Lisbon to the Department of Political Economy. These research trips and presentations were also cancelled.

Recent Publications on themes linked to the project

Ben Clift has published journal articles (some single-authored, some co-authored) exploring key concepts, theories, and research themes central to the project. These include articles focusing on:-

(1) the political economic impacts of Brexit in New Political Economy;

(2) Economic practitioners, the politics of economic expertise, economic policy conduct and ideational change within UK economic governance in Comparative European Politics ;

(3) Policy-oriented Economic modelling and the changing politics of economic ideas since the global financial crisis in Review of International Political Economy and Globalizations

Conference presentation: July 2019

I constructed a panel and presented early project findings at the PAIS Annual Research Conference, University of Warwick. The panel, entitled ‘The Politics of Economic Ideas and the Political Economy of Economic Expertise’, brought together established scholars, Post-doctoral researchers, PhD students and also undergraduate researchers.

Conference presentation: March 2019

Provisional research findings presented at the International Studies Association in Toronto, March 2019 at a panel entitled ‘Understanding the politics of economic ideas within the theory and practice of economic governance and economic policy-making’. This panel brought together leading scholars based in The US, Europe and Australia.

Workshop presentation: March 2019

Project research on comparative capitalisms an EU integration was presented (with co-author Sean McDaniel) at the British Academy 'Economic Policy-Making Institutions at the State/Market Frontier' workshop, University of Warwick.