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Economic Policy

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  • Jim Tomlinson


Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationManchester
PublisherManchester University Press
ISBN (Print)0719045878, 9780719045875
StatePublished - 2004


The third book in "The Labour Governments 1964-70" series, this text concentrates on Britain's economic policy under Britain's Labour governments in the 1960s. It assesses the origins, development and outcomes of the attempts by Harold Wilson's Labour governments to modernize the British economy. The book places the project in the context of Labour's economic ideas as they had developed since the 1940s as well as the economic legacy they inherited from the previous 13 years of Conservative rule. After outlining this context and providing a summary narrative of economic policy over this period, Labour's approach to the international economy is analysed. The core of the book then goes on to look in detail at the policies directly concerned with modernization. Following the agenda set by the National Plan of 1965, policies on planning, investment, technical change, the labour market and the nationalized industries are all considered. In addition, the productivity campaign of the late 1960s is shown to have encapsulated many of the underlying ideas and problems of Labour's approach to economic policy. The final section of the book asks how the pursuit of modernization affected Labour's commitment to "social justice", before offering an overall assessment of Labour's period of office. This book should be of particular interest to contemporary historians, economic historians and those interested in the history of the Labour party. Together with the other books in the series, on domestic policy and international policy, it provides a complete picture of the development of Britian under the premiership of Harold Wilson.

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