The Thatcherite Offensive: A Neo-poulantzasian Analysis

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    Alexander Gallas

    Publisher: Haymarket Books

    Year: 2016

    Format: Paperback

    Size: 318 pages

    ISBN: 9781608466979

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Drawing upon Greek state-theorist Nicos Poulantzas, Gallas challenges both mainstream and critical accounts of British politics in the 1980s and 90s. He shows that Thatcherism’s success and novelty, indeed its unity as a political project, lay in the fact that the Thatcher governments profoundly shifted class relations in Britain in favor of capital and restructured the institutions underpinning class domination.

What People Are Saying

"[T]he conceptual framework Gallas develops for the analysis of articulated levels and fields of governance and political strategy in relation to different phases of class struggle under capitalism is extraordinarily powerful....[This] is no less than a cognitive map of the key political processes under conditions of capitalist democracy. As such, Gallas has, in my view, made a hugely important contribution to (neo)Poulantzasian theory…Overall, The Thatcherite Offensive is a highly impressive book. I certainly have no hesitation in recommending it to all scholars interested in the politics and political economy of Thatcherism, the development of neoliberalism in Britain more widely and indeed to all those interested in the field of (neo)Poulantzasian theory." Ed Rooksby Capital and Class

"The Thatcherite Offensive speaks directly to current expressions of authoritarian statism, and their contradictory role in advancing the neoliberal project. Thatcher’s government relied (in part) on authoritarian-type state strategies to undermine resistance to their broader economic project – Gallas provides the tools to analyse the strength of these regimes given their complex and problematic relationship with democracy." PPE blog

"In this brilliantly innovative, theoretically sophisticated, methodologically self-reflexive, critically engaged, and conjuncturally sensitive study, Alexander Gallas provides a substantive analysis of Thatcherism as a class project. Inspired notably by the later Poulantzas and drawing on incisive case studies, the author analyses successive stages in the development Thatcherism (and Blairism) ... Exemplary in its clarity, this approach will also inspire other work in conjunctural analysis and struggles over class hegemony and domination." Bob Jessop, Lancaster University

"A must read for everyone who believes that there is such a thing as society." Andreas Bieler, University of Nottingham

"Alexander Gallas's book is a highly innovative account of Thatcherism as a class political regime, which reveals, with great clarity, the value added of a political analysis based on Nicos Poulantzas's state theory." John Kannankulam, University of Marburg

“Alexander Gallas’ study of Margaret Thatcher’s eleven years of government – readable, engaged and provocative – has the parallel aim of boosting Poulantzas’ conceptual tools and their value for understanding states, classes and populist authoritarianism.” Logos journal

“Gallas’ intervention [is] both a relevant and crucial contribution to understanding the contemporary political economy.” Progress in Political Economy

The Thatcherite Offensive by Alexander Gallas is an important new contribution from an old perspective, the work of Nicos Poulantzas, towards an analysis of an era most of us would prefer to forget, Thatcherism.” Mark Perryman, author of The Corbyn Effect

About the Author

Alexander Gallas, PhD (2010), Lancaster University, is Assistant Professor of Politics at the University of Kassel. He is editor of the Global Labour Journal and regularly writes on topics such as the state, class, labour relations and British Politics. His publications include Reading Poulantzas (Merlin, 2011).


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