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Title: Offensive completed : a neo-Poulantzasian analysis of the Thatcherite era, 1977-1999
Author: Gallas, Alexander
ISNI:       0000 0004 2705 5343
Awarding Body: Lancaster University
Current Institution: Lancaster University
Date of Award: 2009
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I use a neo-Poulantzasian conceptual framework and argue that Thatcherite politics were specific in terms of how they addressed class relations. The Thatcherites marginalised working class militants and implemented a repressive form of trade union law by exploiting divisions in the trade union movement and the Labour Party. In addition, their privatisation of council houses and liberalisation of the mortgage and consumer credit markets tended to cover up inter-class divides and deepen intra-class divides. Accordingly, I see Thatcherism as a class political regime, that is, a relatively coherent ensemble of policies aimed at reproducing capitalist class domination. I contend that this was flanked by the emergence of an authoritarian neo-Ricardian regime in the areas of economic and state policy. The Thatcherites were committed to >free competition<, whilst also extending the state's repressive capacities. On the whole, they facilitated both an offensive of the power bloc and a neoliberal regime shift. As a result, class relations of forces shifted from an impasse to the dominance of capital. Thanks to the Thatcherites defeating their adversaries in the trade union movement, this shift became entrenched and their offensive became stabilised - something unprecedented in the post-war era. At the point of victory, however, divisions over strategy emerged among leading circles in the Conservative party. Consequently, they failed to respond to the transition from an offensive to a consolidating step of the power bloc. Thatcherism eroded and was eventually replaced by Blairism as the next class political regime, whilst authoritarian neo-Ricardianism remained.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available