Intercurrence and its implications
This chapter sets the scene for later chapters by considering the relationship between the
tiers established in the Introduction. As was noted, each of these tiers is described in one
of the different literatures that survey the contemporary Right. The chapter introduces the
concept of intercurrence within this context.
The Introduction to the book surveyed the five literatures, structured around party,
constituencies, regime, institutions, ideas and cultures, through which the Right in
the UK and the US has been studied and
The Right and the Recession considers the ways in which conservative activists, groupings, parties and interests in the US and Britain responded to the financial crisis and the “Great Recession” that followed in its wake. The book looks at the tensions and stresses between different ideas, interests and institutions and the ways in which they shaped the character of political outcomes. In Britain, these processes opened the way for leading Conservatives to redefine their commitment to fiscal retrenchment and austerity. Whereas public expenditure reductions had been portrayed as a necessary response to earlier “overspending” they were increasingly represented as a way of securing a permanently “leaner” state. The book assesses the character of this shift in thinking as well as the viability of these efforts to shrink the state and the parallel attempts in the US to cut federal government spending through mechanisms such as the budget sequester.
Chafing, abrasion and the contemporary Right
This chapter returns to the concept of ‘intercurrence’. It surveys the different components
of the contemporary Right, the points at which they abrade, the character of the ‘chafing’
that take place and the political outcomes that emerge from all of this.
The Introduction to the book surveyed the different literatures charting the history
and development of the Right over recent decades and suggested that each of these
literatures focuses on and captures important processes within a particular political
levels or tiers abrade each other and interact. As APD theorists suggest in their studies of orders, it is these processes of ‘intercurrence’ that bring forth change.2
Second, The Right and the Recession seeks to assess the extent to which the change
mechanisms enacted by the Cameron government in the UK might be expected to
bring forth enduring change. Change is a subject about which much has been written in recent years, particularly within the framework of historical institutionalism.
The point of departure for this literature has been the concept of path