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Flawed Capitalism
The Anglo-American Condition and its Resolution

David Coates

£25.00 | $35.00
ISBN 9781911116332
£25.00 | $35.00
ISBN 9781911116349
336 pages | 234 x 156mm | April 2018
Series: Building Progressive Alternatives


"With this provocative book and its bold examination of the past fifty years of political and economic change in the United States and the UK, David Coates makes an essential contribution to our understanding of the enormous challenges facing both sides of the Atlantic today. Beyond that, it lays bare the choices people and their leaders must make if future generations are to have a semblance of the opportunities we have had." – Judy Woodruff, PBS NewsHour

“Anybody seeking to understand why Donald Trump is president and why the UK voted for Brexit should read David Coates’s important new book. It explains the flaws in the Anglo-Saxon economic model; even better, it suggests ways of putting things right.” – Larry Elliott, Economics Editor, The Guardian


In Flawed Capitalism, David Coates draws on his vast experience of economy and society in both the US and the UK to examine the economic and social problems currently besetting each.

Building an argument around the rise and fall of important social settlements, Flawed Capitalism traces the history of the two economies through first their New Deal and then their Reaganite periods – ones labelled differently in the UK, but similarly marked by the development first of a Keynesian welfare state and then a Thatcherite neoliberal one. It is with the weaknesses and downsides of the Reagan/Thatcher years that Flawed Capitalism is primarily concerned, showing how the underlying fragility of a settlement based on the weakening of organized labour and the extensive deregulation of business culminated in the financial crisis of 2008.

The legacies of that crisis haunt us still – a squeezed middle class, further embedded poverty, deepened racial divisions, an adverse work-life balance for two-income families, and a growing crisis of housing and employment for the young. Flawed Capitalism deals with each in turn, and makes the case for the transatlantic creation of a new social settlement – a less flawed capitalism – one based on greater degrees of income equality and social justice.


1. The Anglo-American condition: similarities and differences

Part I Flawed Economies
2. The rise and fall of American economic leadership
3. Chasing hard and standing still: the UK economy in the American shadow

Part II Divided Societies
4. The fading of the American dream?
5. The slow disintegration of the UK’s postwar social settlement

Part III Inadequate Politics
6. The continuing costs of empire
7. The folly of austerity politics
8. Conclusion: towards a better future

Author Information

David Coates holds the Worrell Chair in Anglo–American Studies in the Department of Political Science at Wake Forest University, North Carolina. English by birth and American by citizenship, he has written extensively on labour politics, political economy and public policy in both the US and the UK. His recent publications include Answering Back: Liberal Responses to Conservative Arguments (2010), Making the Progressive Case: Towards a Stronger US Economy (2012), America in the Shadow of Empires (2014) and Capitalism: The Basics (2015). He blogs regularly for The Huffington Post on the full range of US social, economic and foreign policy issues and on his own site at

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