British Politics

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 16–30 | Cite as

Margaret Thatcher and Thatcherism: Dead but not buried

  • Bob Jessop
Original Article


The article divides the history of Thatcherism into seven main stages from its pre-history before 1979 through to the revival of the neoliberal project by the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition of 2010–2015. This periodization is based on the changing strategic line of Thatcherism and is related not only to Mrs Thatcher’s practice of conviction politics as a political leader but also to the defining features of neoliberalism considered as an economic and political project. The analysis then reviews the features of the neoliberal regime shift instituted under Mrs Thatcher once it had been consolidated, including the strengthening of the City of London and a finance-dominated accumulation trajectory at the expense of uneven development elsewhere in the United Kingdom and, eventually, the financial crisis that undermined the New Labour Government in 2007–10. This crisis was the pretext for the previously noted revival of the Thatcherite project. The article then considers the dialectic of authoritarian populism and statism and ends with brief remarks on how the recent and continuing fisco-financial crisis has provided an opportunity for the revival of a ‘two nations’ neoliberal austerity politics.


authoritarian populism authoritarian statism Thatcherism neo-liberalism New Labour financial crisis 



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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bob Jessop
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyLancaster UniversityLancasterUnited Kingdom

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