The Politics of Planning: The Debate on Economic Planning in Britain in the 1930s

The Politics of Planning: The Debate on Economic Planning in Britain in the 1930s

The Politics of Planning: The Debate on Economic Planning in Britain in the 1930s

The Politics of Planning: The Debate on Economic Planning in Britain in the 1930s

Synopsis

The concept of "economic planning" was a central theme of the popular economic policy debate in the 1930s. Dr Ritschel traces the many interpretations of planning, and examines the process of idealogical construction and dissemination of the new economic ideas. He concludes with an explanation of the planners' retreat, later in the decade, from the economics of planning towards the far less ambitious (but also less contentious) alternative--the "middle way" of Keynesian economics.

Excerpt

In the course of the research and writing of this work, I enjoyed the generous advice and comments of many scholars and friends, although I am afraid that I may not have done justice to their learned counsel. Foremost among them are Dr John Rowett, Prof. George Peden, Dr Michael Freeden, Dr Colin Matthew, Prof. Martin Petter, Prof. Norman MacKenzie, and Mr A. F. Thompson. Prof. Richard Rempel helped not only with invaluable advice on the text, but also with his steadfast friendship and support of my fledgling career. My greatest debt, of course, is to Dr Jose Harris, whose exacting standards shaped the work, both at its initial stage as a doctoral thesis and since.

The research took me to many archives and libraries, but Richard Storey and Richard Temple at the Modern Records Centre, Warwick University, Dr Angela Raspin at the British Library of Political and Economic Science, and the archivists and librarians at the Public Records Office, House of Lords Records Office, the Bodleian Library, the McMaster University Library, and the Thomas Cooper Library, University of South Carolina, deserve particular thanks for their assistance. The late Earl of Stockton, the late Lord Boothby, Sir Alec Cairncross, Lord Molson, and Mr Michael Barratt Brown gave generously their time and memories. Lord Melchett kindly gave me access to the papers of his grandfather, Henry Mond.

I wish also to express my gratitude to the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada for its support of my work, both at Oxford and subsequently. Some research for the book was also made possible by the Quebec Ministry of Education and the Designated Research Initiative Fund at the University of Maryland Graduate School, Baltimore.

Last but not least, I want to beg the forgiveness of Eva and Sebastian, who have put up with my work-related distraction and absences for far longer than I care to admit. Their love and support have allowed me to practice the art my mother first taught me to love.

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