The 1970s in Britain were marked by an important change in the priorities of government economic policy, and by a growing disillusion with the Keynesian approach on which much of postwar policy had been based. Increasing importance was attached to the problem of controlling inflation rather than holding down unemployment, and Keynesian policies were increasingly perceived to be ineffective. The product of this disillusionment was the ‘monetarist revolution’ and a new economic approach in the 1980s that came to be known as Thatcherism. This chapter analyses the economic conditions that gave rise to Thatcherism, how this approach developed and changed in the 1980s, and why privatisation became a dominant feature.
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