- Format: Hardcover
- ISBN: 978-1-5261-4652-6
- Pages: 440
- Price: £105.00
- Published Date: July 2024
This book examines the Thatcher government's attempt to revolutionise Britain's pensions system in the 1980s and create a nation of risk-taking savers with an individual stake in capitalism. Drawing upon recently-released archival records, it shows how the ideas motivating these reforms journeyed from the writings of neoliberal intellectuals into government and became the centrepiece of a plan to abolish significant parts of the UK's welfare state and replace these with privatised personal pensions. Revealing a government that veered between political caution and radicalism, the book explains why this revolution failed and charts the malign legacy left by the evolutionary changes that ministers salvaged from the wreckage of their reforms.
The book contributes to understanding of policy change, Thatcherism, and international neoliberalism by showing how major reforms to social security could reflect neoliberal thought and yet profoundly disappoint their architects.
Part I - The Neoliberal Vision
1 Neoliberalism and Thatcherism
2 Neoliberalism and the UK state in the 1970s
Part II - The First Term
3 The institutional inheritance
4 Pensions 'ratchet' and 'burden'
Part III - Planning a Revolution, 1983-5
5 The personal portable pension
6 The abolition of SERPS?
Part IV - Implementation and Legacy
7 From revolution to evolution
Aled Davies is Departmental and College Lecturer in Modern British History at St. John's College, University of Oxford.
James Freeman is Senior Lecturer in Political History and Digital Humanities at the University of Bristol.
Hugh Pemberton is Emeritus Professor of Contemporary British History at the University of Bristol.