Pathology Without Crisis? The Strange Demise of the Anglo-Liberal Growth Model

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Abstract

In the wake of the deepest and longest recession the UK has experienced since the 1930s, this article examines the origins, sustenance and puncturing of the growth dynamic the UK economy enjoyed between 1992 and 2007. In so doing it seeks to gauge the interventions made to attempt to shore up the growth model and the prospects for the resumption of growth. It argues that the Anglo-liberal growth model is, indeed, fatally flawed and that, in the absence of a new growth model, it is difficult to see how sustained economic growth can be achieved. Yet it also argues that, at present, no alternative growth model is on offer and that it is wrong to infer the likelihood of a paradigm shift in economic thinking from the ‘inter-paradigm’ borrowing used to shore up the old growth model in the midst of the recession. If crises are judged as much by the transformations to which they give rise as by the accumulation of pathologies out of which they crystallize, then what we have experienced to date is not so much a crisis as a catastrophic equilibrium. Though the symptoms to which it has given rise are pregnant with the possibility of crisis, the crisis itself is yet to come.

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