White Rose University Consortium logo
University of Leeds logo University of Sheffield logo York University logo

The Return of Class War Conservatism? Housing under the UK Coalition Government

Hodkinson, SN and Robbins, G (2013) The Return of Class War Conservatism? Housing under the UK Coalition Government. Critical Social Policy, 33 (1). ISSN 0261-0183


Download (145Kb)


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 privatisation 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 residualisation of social housing and draw people into an ever more economically precarious housing experience in order to boost capitalist interests.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2013, Author(s). This is an author produced version of a paper published in Critical Social Policy. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy.
Keywords: class, Coalition Government, housing privatization, neoliberalism, Thatcherism
Institution: The University of Leeds
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Environment (Leeds) > School of Geography (Leeds) > SOG: Cities & Social Justice (Leeds)
Depositing User: Symplectic Publications
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2012 11:33
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2016 11:18
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0261018312457871
Status: Published
Publisher: Sage Publications
Identification Number: 10.1177/0261018312457871
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/74333

Actions (repository staff only: login required)