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Digital Subscriptions > Prospect Magazine > Jan-18 > Industrial strategy: taking back control

Industrial strategy: taking back control

Intervention alone will not be enough

For a long time, industrial strategy was something that belonged in the 1970s, along with British Leyland and cars with square steering wheels. But after the decade of stagnation that followed the 2008 financial crisis, the idea that our economy might need some strategic direction no longer seems far-fetched.

The post-crisis governments led by Gordon Brown and David Cameron experimented with industrial policy. But it is Brexit, like it or not, that has reinvigorated the drive to make Britain more productive. Upon becoming prime minister, Theresa May (who backed Vince Cable’s attempt to revive industrial policy in the coalition era) made the formation of an industrial strategy one of the key pillars of her economic programme.

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About Prospect Magazine

In Prospect’s January 2018 issue: Five writers attempt to plot the impending advances in shopping, politics, sex, food and computing through 2018. James Plunkett looks at shopping and explains how personalised prices will hand even more power to the big companies; Theo Bertram outlines why political volatility is here to stay and what it means for us; Kate Devlin argues that sex robots are only a part of the impending sexual revolution; Stephanie Boland outlines why we’ll all end up eating lab grown food; and Jay Elwes explains the next steps in our computing quantum leap. Elsewhere in the issue: Dani Rodrik uncovers the truth behind the great globalisation lie—there were always going to be losers, Iona Craig delves into the war in Yemen—the world’s worst humanitarian disaster, Chris Tilbury explains why Britain urgently needs a plan for its failing prisons