Diverging Capitalisms? Britain, the City of London and Europe


FEPS, in collaboration with the Sheffield Political Economic Institute (SPERI) at the University of Sheffield has set up a project to consider Britain's changing place inside and, indeed, potentially outside and in relation to the European economy.  This will be set in the context of the overhang from the Eurozone crisis, the role of the British economy in the wider global financial crisis and the place of the City of London in the global financial architecture following the crisis, the prospect of ‘Brexit’ and the new political landscape emerging after the 2015 General Election. 

Drawing on already well-established themes in SPERI’s research agenda, we will focus particularly on the changing position and role of the City of London, the question of growth and the capacity to develop sustainable models of growth in the years ahead, and on the futures of social democracy and neoliberalism both in Britain and in the wider European context.  A final theme, explored in each part of the project, will be that of inequality.  This we will seek to map comparatively but also to consider prospectively (in terms of the inter-generational consequences of the crisis of the Anglo-liberal growth model, austerity and the emerging environmental crisis) and as an axis of political mobilisation (which has arguably contributed significantly to the rise of the extreme right and Euroscepticism but which might also be thought amenable to social democratic and more Europhilic expressions).  

Among the key themes of the research will be the following:

  • The relationship between the City and the Eurozone crisis
  • European capital divided
  • German fiscal rules and UK complicity
  • British exit – the view from the banks
  • ‘Imbalances’ in private debt and the City
  • European social democratic ambitions and British politics
  • Inequality in Europe and the City of London

The project will develop over two years and will bring partners together for three workshops in Brussels, Sheffield and London. The project will also result in a series of studies ans policy briefs.

Principal investigators

Project Leaders

Professor Colin Hay (SPERI)

Professor Tomy Payne (SPERI)

Lord Roger Liddle (Policy Network)

Thomas Aubrey (Policy Network)

Renaud Thillaye (Policy Network)

Catalin Dragomirescu-Gaina (FEPS)

Dr Lisa Kastner (FEPS)

Other researchers

Professor Andrew Gamble (SPERI)

Dr Craig Berry (SPERI)

Dr Jeremy Green

Dr Scott Lavery