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The Politics of PlanningThe Debate on Economic Planning in Britain in the 1930s$
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Daniel Ritschel

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780198206477

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198206477.001.0001

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Progressive Planning: The Next Five Years Group

Progressive Planning: The Next Five Years Group

(p.232) 6 Progressive Planning: The Next Five Years Group
The Politics of Planning

Daniel Ritschel

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the idea of ‘progressive’ planning campaigned by The Next Five Years group in the 1930s. It notes that the group is usually upheld as the most promising of the contemporary initiatives and provides evidence of an incipient consensus in economic thought and a broadly progressive outlook. It observes that the group's attempt to develop a new centrist interpretation of planning as the formula for ‘progressive agreement’ in national politics has been portrayed as indicative of the growing forces of ‘middle opinion’ which transcended the political divisions of the day and paved the way for the post-war consensus around the ‘mixed economy’. It observes further that its failure to effect such realignment at the time is usually ascribed to the sterile nature of contemporary party-politics and, in particular, the dogmatic refusal of the Labour party to accept the suggested compromise.

Keywords:   progressive planning, Next Five Years group, planning, progressive agreement, national politics, middle opinion, mixed economy, Labour party

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