The Reinvention of Britain 1960–2016 explores the transformation of contemporary Britain, tracing its evolution from the welfare state of the post-1945 era to social democracy in the 1960s and 1970s and the liberal market society of 1979 onwards. Focusing primarily on political and economic change, it aims to identify which elements of State policy led to the crucial strategy changes that shaped British history over the past six decades.
This book argues that since 1960 there have been two reinventions of the political economy of the United Kingdom: a social-democratic shift initiated by the Conservative government of Harold Macmillan and developed by Labour under Harold Wilson, and a subsequent change of direction towards a free market model attempted by the Conservatives under Margaret Thatcher. Structured around these two key policy reinventions of the late twentieth century, chapters are organized chronologically, from the development of social democracy in the early 1960s to the coalition government of the early 2010s, the Conservative election win that followed and the ‘Brexit’ referendum of 2016.
Providing a comprehensive yet accessible introduction to the political and economic history of this period, The Reinvention of Britain 1960–2016 is essential reading for all students of contemporary British history.
List of figures
List of tables
Introduction: why a political and economic history?
Part 1: The Rise and Fall of Social-Democratic Britain
1: Conservative Social Democracy 1961-64
2: Labour’s New Britain, 1964-70
3: Quiet Revolution, 1970-74
4: The Last Years of the Post-War Settlement, 1974-79
Part 2: Neo-Liberal Britain
5: Thatcher's Revolution, 1979-90
6: Major Interlude, 1990-97
7: New Labour in Power, 1997-2010