Headlong into the Polanyian dilemma : the impact of middle-class moral panic on the British Government's response to the sub-prime crisis
Watson, Matthew. (2009) Headlong into the Polanyian dilemma : the impact of middle-class moral panic on the British Government's response to the sub-prime crisis. British Journal of Politics and International Relations, Vol.11 (No.3). pp. 422-437. ISSN 1369-1481
PDF (Blackwell Policy)
Restricted to Repository staff only - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
PDF (Article Main Text)
WRAP_Watson_bjpir(subprime)may09.pdf - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-856X.2009.00379.x
This article focuses on the discursive construction in Britain of a middle-class moral panic occasioned by the distress caused to self-styled 'responsible mortgage borrowers' by falling house prices. In the context of the move towards asset-based welfare the sub-prime crisis manifested itself most obviously in the popular consciousness as a threat to housing market wealth. The Labour government used the political space opened up by the narrative of middle-class moral panic in order to protect banks' balance sheets from the consequences of their own failed investments in mortgage-backed securities. The ensuing arrangements immunised banks from the implications of market self-regulation in the first-phase response to the sub-prime crisis while simultaneously allowing them to continue to impose the experience of market self-regulation on their customers. An increasingly asymmetric approach to banking regulation has arisen analogous to that which Karl Polanyi associated with the contradictory co-existence of market and non-market forms.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Subjects:||J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
H Social Sciences > HJ Public Finance
|Divisions:||Faculty of Social Sciences > Politics and International Studies|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Brown, Gordon, 1951-, Global Financial Crisis, 2008-2009, Banks and banking -- Government ownership -- Great Britain, Welfare economics, Subprime mortgage loans, Great Britain -- Economic conditions -- 1997-|
|Journal or Publication Title:||British Journal of Politics and International Relations|
|Publisher:||Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.|
|Official Date:||August 2009|
|Page Range:||pp. 422-437|
|Access rights to Published version:||Restricted or Subscription Access|
|Funder:||Economic and Social Research Council (Great Britain) (ESRC)|
|Grant number:||RES-000-22-2198 (ESRC)|
Altheide, D. (2002) Creating Fear: News and the Construction of Crisis (Piscataway, NJ: Aldine Transaction).
Bank of England (2008) Special Liquidity Scheme: Information (London: Bank of England).
Bauman, Z. (2002) 'Violence in the age of uncertainty', in A. Crawford (ed.), Crime and Insecurity: The Governance of Safety in Europe (Cullompton: Willan), 52–73.
Case, K. and Quigley, J. (2008) 'How housing booms unwind: Income effects, wealth effects, and feedbacks through financial markets', European Journal of Housing Policy, 8:2, 161–180. Links
Cohen, S. (1972) Folk Devils and Moral Panic (London: MacGibbon and Kee).
Crouch, C. (2009) 'Privatised Keynesianism: An unacknowledged policy regime', British Journal of Politics & International Relations, 11:3, 382–399. Links
Darling, A. (2008) 'Statement by the chancellor on financial markets', House of Commons, 13 October.
Ericson, R., Baranek, P. and Chan, J. (1991) Representing Order: Crime, Law and Justice in the News Media (Buckingham: Open University Press).
Ferraro, K. (1995) Fear of Crime: Interpreting Victimization Risk (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press).
Finlayson, A. (2009) 'Financialisation, financial literacy and asset-based welfare', British Journal of Politics & International Relations, 11:3, 400–421. Links
Furedi, F. (1997) Culture of Fear: Risk-Taking and the Morality of Low Expectation (London: Cassell).
Girling, E., Loader, I. and Sparks, R. (2000) Crime and Social Change in Middle England: Questions of Order in an English Town (London: Routledge).
Glassner, B. (2000) The Culture of Fear: Why Americans are Afraid of the Wrong Things (London: Basic Books).
Goffman, E. (1972) Relations in Public: Microstudies of the Public Order (New York: Harper Colophon).
Goode, E. and Ben-Yehuda, N. (1994) Moral Panics: The Social Construction of Deviance (Oxford: Blackwell).
Hay, C. (1995) 'Mobilization through interpellation: James Bulger, juvenile crime and the construction of a moral panic', Social and Legal Studies, 4:2, 197–223. Links
Hay, C. (2009) 'Good inflation, bad inflation: The housing boom, economic growth and the disaggregation of inflationary preferences in the UK and Ireland', British Journal of Politics & International Relations, 11:3, 461–478. Links
HM Treasury (2001) Saving and Assets for All: The Modernisation of Britain's Tax and Benefit System, Numbers Eight and Nine (London: HMSO).
HM Treasury (2008) Mortgage Finance: Final Report and Recommendations (London: HMSO).
Innes, M. (2004) 'Signal crimes and signal disorders: Notes on deviance as communicative action', British Journal of Sociology, 55:3, 335–355. Links
Kuhn, T. (1977) 'Second thoughts on paradigms', in T. Kuhn (ed.), The Essential Tension: Selected Studies in Scientific Tradition and Change (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press), 293–319.
Kuhn, T. (1981) 'A function for thought experiments', in I. Hacking (ed.), Scientific Revolutions (Oxford: Oxford University Press), 6–27.
Leyshon, A. and French, S. (2009) ' "We all live in a Robbie Fowler house": The geographies of the buy to let market in the UK', British Journal of Politics & International Relations, 11:3, 438–460. Links
McRobbie, A. (1994) Post-modernism and Popular Culture (London: Routledge).
Muolo, P. and Padilla, M. (2008) Chain of Blame: How Wall Street Caused the Mortgage and Credit Crisis (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons).
Pearson, G. (1983) Hooligan: A History of Respectable Fears (London: Macmillan).
Polanyi, K. (1957 ) The Great Transformation: The Social and Political Origins of Our Time (Boston, MA: Beacon Press).
Prime Minister's Office (2008) 'The Queen's speech—Transcript', Available online at: http://www.number10.gov.uk
Shiller, R. (2008) The Subprime Solution: How Today's Global Financial Crisis Happened and What to Do about It (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press).
Slovic, P. (2000) The Perception of Risk (London: Earthscan).
Thompson, K. (1998) Moral Panic (London: Routledge).
Ungar, S. (2001) 'Moral panic versus the risk society: The implications of the changing sites of social anxiety', British Journal of Sociology, 52:2, 271–291.
Walters, B. (2008) The Fall of Northern Rock: An Insider's Story of Britain's Biggest Banking Disaster (Petersfield: Harriman House).
Watson, M. (2008) 'Constituting monetary conservatives via the "savings habit": New Labour and the British housing market bubble', Comparative European Politics, 6:3, 285–304.
Actions (login required)