When the Party's Over: The Politics of Austerity in Public Services

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This project aims to contribute to our understanding of the politics of austerity in public services, particularly in the UK. The project looks in detail at five periods of significant austerity and public service cutbacks in the twentieth century in the UK between 1920 and 2010. In order to cast the UK experience in an international context the project also brings together several other historical cases of fiscal squeeze to explore what conclusions can be drawn for current debates about fiscal squeeze from earlier cases in other democracies. The analysis is very topical in today’s era of fiscal austerity and fiscal consolidation when spending cutbacks dominate the politics of many countries: when street protests, rule by ‘econocrats’ and draconian policy shifts dictated by - or blamed on - international creditors have become commonplace and a new era of conflict has developed over who gets what from hard-pressed public resources

Principal Investigator

Emeritus Professor Christopher Hood


Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)


Professorial Fellowship

Project Start / End

Sep 2011 - Feb 2015