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).
Students, academics, activists and trade unionists interested in Marxism, state theory, class, British politics, the Thatcher era, the labour movement and neoliberalism.
"In this brilliantly innovative, theoretically sophisticated, methodologic ally 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); the dialectic of offensive and defensive stages and steps in class struggle; and the relative success of assaults on the power of organized labour in production and relative failure of attempts to reconfigure the wider economic regime to promote accumulation and social cohesion. 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
"Alexander Gallas' fresh analysis of Thatcherism reveals the systematic attack on labour as key to its strategy of how to secure capitalist accumulation. This is not just a historical exercise. Only when we understand Thatcherism can we comprehend the challenges and possibilities of how to move beyond current austerity policies. 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
"[...] [T]here are two key reasons that make Gallas’ intervention both a relevant and crucial contribution to understanding the contemporary political economy. [...] First, it speaks to the problem of ‘neoliberalism’ and what on earth we mean when we employ the concept. [...] Second, 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."
Matthew Ryan, University of Sydney
, in Progress in Political Economy
Table of contents
List of Acronyms and Abbreviations
List of Tables
Preface and Acknowledgements
PART I: THATCHERISM AND THE NEO-POULANTZASIAN APPROACH
1. The Hall-Jessop Debate
2. Neo-Poulantzasian Political Analysis
PART II: CLASS AND POLITICS IN BRITAIN, 1977–99
3. Method of Presentation
4. Pre-history: Britain in Crisis (–1977)
5. Emergence: A New Agenda for the Conservative Party (1977–9)
Case Study: Preparing for Government – Conservative Policy Papers from 1977
6. Material Gains: Conducting Class Politics by Stealth (1979–84)
7. Instability and Confrontation (1984–8)
Case Study: Attacking the Union Movement – The Miners’ Strike
Case Study: Dividing the Nation – The ‘Big Bang’ and the Liberalisation of Financial Markets
8. Stabilisation: Entrenching the Advance (1988–92)
9. Erosion: Losing Control (1992–9)
PART III: THE AFTERMATH
10. The Consequences of Thatcherism
11. New Labour and the Thatcherite Legacy