Seminar: Knowledge Regimes of Economic Inequality in Thatcher’s Britain

Title:“Knowledge Regimes of Economic Inequality: Statistics and Narratives in Thatcher’s Britain”

Felix Römer (Humboldt University, Berlin)

24 May, 13.15–14.15 (Zoom)

It is widely known that economic inequality in 1980s Britain surged to historic levels, but it has often been overlooked that this trend was less evident to contemporaries under Thatcher. This talk will discuss how Thatcher and her ministers intervened in official statistics to reinforce the government’s political message. Thatcher’s governments not only reduced the production of statistical knowledge on poverty and income and wealth distribution to a minimum, but also used statistical artefacts to support political narratives about the success of Thatcher’s social and economic policies. Methodologically, the talk will rely on the analytical concepts of knowledge regimes and knowledge politics; it will argue that they can help us to understand the infrastructures and power dynamics underpinning the production and circulation of knowledge.

This online seminar is organized by the Lund Centre for History of Knowledge. Please contact johan.ostling@hist.lu.se for a Zoom link.

Photo: White House Photographic Office/Wikimedia Commons

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