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The Liberal Party and the Economy, 1929-1964$
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Peter Sloman

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198723509

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198723509.001.0001

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The Wilderness Years

(p.1) Introduction:
The Liberal Party and the Economy, 1929-1964

Peter Sloman

Oxford University Press

This book examines the development of economic ideas within the Liberal Party between its decline in the 1920s and 1930s and its post-war revival under Jo Grimond. Although British Liberals were no longer responsible for the nation’s economic destiny, they remained well placed to contribute to policy debate and retained close links with the economics profession. Some historians have highlighted the party’s links with John Maynard Keynes and William Beveridge and its contribution to the development of the post-war settlement, whilst others have been more impressed by the endurance of Gladstonian commitments to limited government, free trade, and free markets. The introduction briefly examines the character of the mid-twentieth-century Liberal Party and its place in the British political system, discusses the complex relationship between economic theory and policy, and examines the meaning of Keynesianism and neoliberalism.

Keywords:   liberalism, Liberal Party, economic policy, classical liberalism, social liberalism, economists, Keynesianism, neoliberalism

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