The Great British ‘rebalancing’ act: the construction and implementation of an economic imperative for exceptional times

Academic journal article, co-authored with Colin Hay.

The ‘rebalancing’ of the British economy has become perhaps the central motif in the public political economy of adjustment to the financial crisis. The article examines the social construction of the ‘rebalancing’ imperative and associated policies, arguing that a rebalancing discourse has served to circumscribe the parameters of acceptable state intervention in response to the crisis. It is, accordingly, to be seen as a temporary exception, after which laissez-faire can be restored. But is there any evidence for such a rebalancing? In the second half of the article we assess the extent to which its objectives have been realised in substantive economic policy change, demonstrating a disjuncture between the rhetoric and practice of rebalancing—a communicative dissonance. This leads us to question not only the extent to which rebalancing has been pursued in public policy, but also the likelihood that the interventions justified in the name of rebalancing can herald any lasting reconfiguration of the British economy.

Click here to access the full article.

Image: Dave Gibbs