The end of the experiment?

From competition to the foundational economy

By Andrew Bowman, Julie Froud, Sukhdev Johal, John Law, Adam Leaver, Mick Moran and Karel Williams

The end of the experiment?

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-9633-4
  • Pages: 180
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £10.99
  • Published Date: May 2014
  • BIC Category: Sociology, Sociology, Society & culture: general, BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economics / Theory, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General, Economics, finance, business & management / Economic theory & philosophy, Society & social sciences / Society & culture: general
  • Series: Manchester Capitalism


For thirty years, the British economy has repeated the same old experiment of subjecting everything to competition and market because that is what works in the imagination of central government. This book demonstrates the repeated failure of that experiment by detailed examination of three sectors: broadband, food supply and retail banking.

The book argues for a new experiment in social licensing whereby the right to trade in foundational activities would be dependent on the discharge of social obligations in the form of sourcing, training and living wages.

Written by a team of researchers and policy advocates based at the Centre for Research on Socio Cultural Change, this book combines rigour and readability, and will be relevant to practitioners, policy makers, academics and engaged citizens.


"Their book combines rigour and readability to suggest a better way of organising the fundamentals of economic life as a way out of the current impasse. Such a radical strategy is essential to replace the current vacuum in ideas, resulting in a dispirited economic consensus and voter apathy. Reading this book should help remove the need for a question mark in its title."

(New Classics Website, Aug 2014)


1. The 30 year experiment: imaginary, history and cases
2. Telecoms and broadband: under-investment and confusion marketing
3. Supermarkets and dairy: success at the cost of suppliers
4. Retail banking: (mis-)selling for return on equity
5. Changing the frame: there's more than one show in town


Michael Moran, Andrew Bowman, Julie Froud, John Law, Adam Leaver and Karel Williams are members of the Centre for Research on Socio Cultural Change (CRESC)

Sukhdev Johal is Chair in Accounting & Strategy at Queen Mary University of London

The end of the experiment?

By Andrew Bowman, Julie Froud, Sukhdev Johal, John Law, Adam Leaver, Mick Moran, Karel Williams

Paperback £10.99 / $15.95

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