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Liberalism and the Welfare StateEconomists and Arguments for the Welfare State$
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Roger E. Backhouse, Bradley W. Bateman, Tamotsu Nishizawa, and Dieter Plehwe

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190676681

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190676681.001.0001

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Between Business and Academia in Postwar Britain

Between Business and Academia in Postwar Britain

Three Advocates of Neoliberalism at the Heart of the British Business Community

(p.101) 5 Between Business and Academia in Postwar Britain
Liberalism and the Welfare State

Neil Rollings

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the attitudes of three neoliberal business economists about the welfare state in postwar Britain. The three—John Jewkes, Arthur Shenfield, and Barry Bracewell-Milnes—had some degree of economic literacy, and each was active in neoliberal circles and critical of Britain’s welfare state in the 1960s along typical neoliberal lines. Significantly, all three provided economic advice at the heart of the British business community. This illustrates three main points. First, neoliberals were not as isolated before the 1970s as commonly presented and had good links with parts of the business community. Second, the focus on the intellectuals in the Mont Pelerin Society (MPS) distorts our understanding of the organization and the dissemination of its ideas. Third, we need to be aware of the growing number of business economists in Britain and other advanced economies after World War II and the role that they played.

Keywords:   post-war Britain, organized business, neoliberal, Mon Pelerin Society, business economists, welfare state

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