This workshop considers the ways in which Thatcher, Thatcherism and Thatcherite projects have developed, diffused, interpenetrated, complemented, combated and consolidated in national/local embodiments of neo-liberalism.
Between 1979 and 1990 Margaret Thatcher led the transformation of British economy and society, putting her among the most admired and hated politicians of the 20th century. A recent poll ranking the 100 greatest living Britons ranked her first, while a poll ranking the 100 worst put her third. Commentators have endlessly picked over every angle of the politico-cultural struggle she waged in the UK for the hegemony of neo-liberal economics, but there has been less focus on the ways in which Thatcherism informed similar projects across the world. Before the Washington consensus could impose its famous ten-point programme of neo-liberalism, the Downing Street discord prepared the way, through an ideological, political, social and economic Kulturkampf. Thatcherism, in its multiple forms, has been imported into countless locales around the planet, creating wildly different, but strangely parallel, national local Thatcherisms, with their cultural particularities and their congruent and complementary agonists. This workshop seeks a complement of cultural and ethnographic readings of political case studies of local Thatcherisms from around the globe, in order to compare, contrast and discuss the ways in which Thatcher, Thatcherism and Thatcherite projects have consciously and unconsciously developed, diffused, interpenetrated, complemented, combated and consolidated in national/local embodiments of neo-liberalism.