The return of class war conservatism?

An academic paper I had a hand in has recently been published in the journal ‘Critical Social Policy’.  The ‘abstract’ reads:

The May 2010 election of a Conservative-dominated UK coalition government unleashed an unprecedented austerity drive under the auspices of ‘deficit reduction’ in the wake of the global financial crisis. This article focuses on housing policy to show how the ‘cuts’ are being used as an ideological cover for a far-reaching, market-driven restructuring of social welfare policy that amounts to a return of what Ralph Miliband called ‘class war conservatism’. We revisit the main ideological contours and materialist drivers of Thatcherism as a hegemonic strategy, discussing the central role played by housing privatization in the neoliberal project that was continued, but not completed, by New Labour. We then discuss the Coalition’s assault on the housing welfare safety net it inherited, arguing this has rapidly shut down alternative directions for housing and represents a strategic intervention designed to unblock and expand the market, complete the residualization of social housing and draw people into an ever more economically precarious housing experience in order to boost capitalist interests.

Stuart Hodkinson did most of the hard work and it’s a good general overview of Coalition housing policy.  I can’t post the full paper because the publishers are a bit protective, but if you’re interested to read more, let me know and you can borrow my copy.

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