European Economy

Ben Clift

in The Oxford Handbook of British Politics

Published in print July 2009 | ISBN: 9780199230952
Published online January 2010 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Politics & International Relations

 European Economy

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This article reports on analysis and assumptions underpinning the prevailing analysis and prescription (diagnosis and cure) for European economic reform within British politics. These two discursive framings inform and shape the relationship between British politics and the European political economy. The article also deals with the clash of capitalisms and social models within the implementation, successes, and failings of the ‘Lisbon agenda’. The relationship between the welfare state regime and economic performance is then explored, before considering attempts to tackle unemployment through ‘flexicurity’ reforms to labour market institutions, and the framing and content of macroeconomic policy. The UK model was successful in terms of employment between 1997 and 2007, but this success has been bought at what many consider too high a price in terms of social inequality. The Lisbon process is insufficient in the mechanisms to induce the convergence it exhorts.

Keywords: European economy; European economic reform; British politics; capitalisms; social models; Lisbon agenda; labour market institutions; macroeconomic policy

Article.  9142 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; UK Politics ; European Union

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