The Impact of Thatcherism on Health and Well-Being in Britain

  title={The Impact of Thatcherism on Health and Well-Being in Britain},
  author={Alex Scott-Samuel and Clare Bambra and Chik Collins and David J Hunter and Gerry McCartney and Kat Smith},
  journal={International Journal of Health Services},
  pages={53 - 71}
Margaret Thatcher (1925–2013) was the United Kingdom's prime minister from 1979 to 1990. Her informal transatlantic alliance with U.S. President Ronald Reagan from 1981 to 1989 played an important role in the promotion of an international neoliberal policy agenda that remains influential today. Her critique of UK social democracy during the 1970s and her adoption of key neoliberal strategies, such as financial deregulation, trade liberalization, and the privatization of public goods and… 

Figures from this paper

"Liberalizing" the English National Health Service: background and risks to healthcare entitlement.

This study aims to analyze the NHS reforms in the historical context of predominance of neoliberal theories since 1980 and to discuss the "liberalization" of the NHS.

“It is Sometimes Soul-Destroying”: Doctors’ Reflections on Unemployment and Health in Thatcher’s Britain

Analysis of two sets of writing in the British Medical Journal from the 1980s explores relationships between unemployment and health and argues that unemployment was not just an economic problem, but one doctors needed to monitor.

Thatcherism, Crime and the Legacy of the Social and Economic ‘Storms’ of the 1980s

Using insights from the classical sociology of deviance and social structure (notably Durkheim and Merton) we explore the enduring impact of the social and economic changes which started in the UK in

Neoliberalism and Accountability Failure in the Delivery of Services Affecting the Health of the Public

The evidence suggests that organizations have not learned from each other within or between countries, revealing a pattern of accountability failure in which citizens are placed at risk in their communities and hospitals for preventable injury or death within an increasingly politicized government and leadership environment.

The public health crisis created by UK social policy reforms

  • M. Stewart
  • Political Science
    Justice, Power and Resistance
  • 2022
As the world is preoccupied by the pandemic, and the British public are beginning to comprehend the full impact of Brexit, the predictable public mental health crisis created by the demolition of the

Attending to political conflict in social work today and in the near future

  • S. Ramon
  • Sociology, Political Science
  • 2021
This paper is aimed at looking at how social workers in Europe tackle the inevitable political issues embedded in their work as intermediaries between political authorities (governments and local

Elaborating population health inequalities in the United States: maternity care in the era of free market system of neoliberalization

An extensive array of literature has examined the impact of neoliberal market policies on population health and social outcomes in the past three decades in the United States and elsewhere.1−5 A

Politics as an Explanation to the Health Divide in Different Settings: A Comparative Study of England and Ghana

  • J. AlhassanMichele Castelli
  • Political Science, Medicine
    International journal of health services : planning, administration, evaluation
  • 2019
The article finds that, while the drivers of health inequities in both countries are policy driven, historically situated contextual factors (colonialism in the cases of Ghana and deindustrialization in the case of England) offer explanations for health inequity in both country.

Preventable harm: creating a mental health crisis

This paper demonstrates the preventable harm created by the use of a flawed disability assessment model, together with the adoption of punitive conditionality and the increased suicides linked to UK welfare reforms which are influenced by American social policies.

Fantasy paradigms of health inequalities: Utopian thinking?

This article argues that, while it can be politically expedient for governments to engage with health inequalities, they cannot, within the confines of neo-liberalism, realistically propose actions



The Impact of Neoliberal “Political Attack” on Health: The Case of the “Scottish Effect”

The health impact of neoliberal “shock treatment” has been explored in relation to the former USSR, but much remains to be done to ascertain its impact elsewhere. The authors consider the “Scottish

Mrs. Thatcher's Employment Prescription: An Active Neo-Liberal Labor Market Policy

ABSTRACT Though each of the capitalist democracies has developed a similar battery of programs for mitigating labor market problems, politically significant differences in strategy underlie

The politics, law and practice of “intentional homelessness”: 2–Abandonment of existing housing

Abstract The first part of this article examined the way in which three local authorities, Midland, Eastern, and Western, implement the intentional homelessness provisions (s.60) of the Housing Act

Mortality and political climate: how suicide rates have risen during periods of Conservative government, 1901–2000

The findings suggest a dose-response or perhaps “true” effect such that during the 20th century the presence of Conservative governments at both State and Federal level in Australia were associated with higher suicide rates.

The Business-Social Policy Nexus: Corporate Power and Corporate Inputs into Social Policy

It is increasingly impossible to understand and explain the shape and delivery of contemporary social policy unless we consider the role of business. Several factors have been at work here. First,

The Free Economy and the Strong State

The slow-down in the pace of accumulation has provided the opportunity for a widespread rejection of Keynesian political economy and an onslaught on the policies, values and organizations of social

Social inequalities in health: Back on the agenda

Epi + demos + cracy: linking political systems and priorities to the magnitude of health inequities--evidence, gaps, and a research agenda.

The authors critically summarize these studies' findings, consider methodological limitations, and propose a research agenda-with careful attention to spatiotemporal scale, level, time frame, choice of health outcomes, inclusion of polities, and specification of political mechanisms-to address the enormous gaps in knowledge that were identified.

Inequalities in Health. The Black Report: A Summary and Comment

  • A. Gray
  • Political Science, Medicine
    International journal of health services : planning, administration, evaluation
  • 1982
The Black Report showed in great detail the extent to which ill-health and death are unequally distributed among the population of Britain, and suggested that these inequalities have been widening rather than diminishing since the establishment of the National Health Service in 1948.

A ‘Multiple Lenses’ Approach to Policy Change: The Case of Tobacco Policy in the UK

This article examines a period of rapid policy change following decades of stability in UK tobacco. It seeks to account for such a long period of policy stability, to analyse and qualify the extent