The key aim of this new book is to show how economic decline has always been a highly politicised concept, forming a central part of post-war political argument. In doing so, Tomlinson reveals how the term has been used in such ways as to advance particular political causes.
Acknowledgements. List of tables. List of Abbreviations. 1. The Importance of decline. Decline and declinism. Plan of the book. 2. Inventing decline. Government and economic performance. Calculating decline. Industrial production. Productivity. Britain and world trade. The culture of decline. 3. Decline and the Left. Labour and the economy to the mid-1950s. Labour and declinism. The Marxist Left and decline. Conclusions. 4. Decline and the Right. Origins of declinism. The Conservative road to declinism. Culprits for decline: trade unions. The ideologues of decline: Barnett and Wiener. 5. Decline as history, history as decline. The growth debate. The academic issues. Economic history. Growth and declinism. The underpinnings of declinism. The career of declinism. Declinism as history. Historical declinism as politics. 6. Decline in the 1970s and 1980s. Decline in the 1970s. Causes of panic. The culture of decline and the panic of the 1970s. An unjustified panic? The impact on politics. Conclusions. 7. The present and future of decline. Political responsibility. Measuring decline. Globalisation. Competitiveness. 'Education, education, education'. Conclusions. Index.