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From competition to the foundational economy

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 the 30 year policy experiments by examining three sectors: broadband, food supply and retail banking. It argues against naïve metaphors of national disease, highlights the imaginary (or cosmology) that frames those metaphors, and draws out the implications of the experiment. Discussing the role of the experiments in post-1945 Britain, the book's overview on telecommunications, supermarkets and retail banking, reveals the limits of treatment by competition. Privatisation of fixed line telecoms in the UK delivered a system in which the private and public interests are only partially aligned in relation to provision of broadband. Individual supermarket chains may struggle but the four big UK supermarket chains are generally presented as exemplars because they have for a generation combined adequate profits with low price, choice and quality to deliver shareholder value. The many inquiries into retail banking after the financial crisis have concluded that the sector's problem was not enough competition. In a devolved experiment, socially-licensed policies and priorities vary from place to place and context to context. However, meaningful political engagement with the specifics in the economy will need to avoid losing sight of four principles: contestation, judgement, discussion, and tinkering. While others can be blamed for the failure of the experiments, the political responsibility for the ending and starting another is collectively peoples'.

Imaginary, history and cases Introduction
Andrew Bowman, Ismail Ertürk, Julie Froud, Sukhdev Johal, and John Law

the treatment. The aim of this introduction is threefold and reflects an approach that draws together a multi-­author team. First, in the next section we draw on Science and Technology studies to argue against naïve metaphors of national disease, highlight the imaginary (or cosmology) that frames those metaphors, and draw out the implications of our preferred metaphor, experiment. After arguing the need for the analysis of specifics, the remainder of this chapter introduces these specifics through a description of national peculiarities and sectoral cases. Thus, the

in The end of the experiment?
Abstract only
The heart of the matter
Martin Yuille and Bill Ollier

priorities change too. That is all a matter for new evidence and free debate. For the well-informed reader with a range of interests, the main idea we propose is for the Health Society. We in the UK are proud of our National Health Service (NHS) but we also complain that it is, in effect, only a national disease service. It seems to act only when we are already unwell. While it does a great job preventing us getting infectious disease, prevention of non-infectious long-term conditions has not worked. We do not blame the NHS for this – it is a problem for all our

in Saving sick Britain
Twentieth-century Germany in the debates of Anglo-American international lawyers and transitional justice experts
Annette Weinke

In contrast to earlier discussions during the First World War, Germany’s descent into Nazism was no longer blamed on Prussianism, militarism or an innate national character that had alienated Germans from Western values. Instead, spokespersons of America’s wartime legal community adopted a popular metaphorical interpretation of contemporary Germany, which equated Nazism with a national disease or infection that had to be eradicated via the means of a globalised human rights system. 48 In this vein, the Commission to Study the Organisation of the Peace stated in

in Prussians, Nazis and Peaceniks
Open Access (free)
Vaccine policy and production in Japan
Julia Yongue

in other overseas markets. Health authorities approved Merck's application after representatives submitted new trial data collected in Japan, ironically on the same day as another domestic manufacturer, Kaketsuken. Though hepatitis B was once considered a ‘national disease’ in Japan, the incidence today is low making the recombinant hepatitis B vaccine (HBV) a type of travel vaccine whose cost is high and demand

in The politics of vaccination
Abstract only
The railway enthusiast’s life-world
Ian Carter

sustain mature, well-balanced human beings? Let us attempt a thought experiment. In 1994 Matthew Engel told The Guardian’s readers that ‘The British have a unique sentimental attachment to their trains. Babies are weaned straight off the breast and on to Thomas the Tank Engine. Anoraksia is the national disease.’43 As if this were a country rather than a disease (and we shall see that many people think that it is a disease), let us visit Engel’s imaginary country. What might one man’s day look like here? Since railway enthusiasm is a leisure activity we will drop in on

in British railway enthusiasm
Sunil S. Amrith

policy failure; particularly when, as the earlier part of this essay suggested, sanitation was at the core of many earlier elite attempts at public health reform in the early twentieth century. Regional variation and political culture This broad account of the shortcomings in national disease control policies needs some qualification at this point, because – as indicated above – there were significant regional variations in the ways in which the national (and international) disease control campaigns affected local health services. The point here is that regional

in History, historians and development policy
Michael Mulqueen

equipment for use by emergency agencies in the event of a major radiological, nuclear, chemical, or biological incident; b) the upgrading by the Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland (RPII) of its monitoring stations; c) new facilities for the National Disease Surveillance Centre (NDSC); d) the locating of Ireland’s first National Bio-Terrorism Unit at

in Re-evaluating Irish national security policy