New New Deals: Reforming Welfare Again?

Clarke, John (2010). New New Deals: Reforming Welfare Again? Occasion: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities, 2



In both the Unites States and the United Kingdom, the idea of the New Deal has proved a potent political symbol during this crisis. In what follows, I explore some of the ways in which the imagery of the New Deal has been deployed and consider some of the historical questions that are generated by this imagery. What does the image of the New Deal evoke, and to what does it lay claim? Three aspects of current political discourse seem to me to be of particular interest: the return of publicness; the problematization of capitalism; and the revival of the New Deal as a progressive imaginary. They are, of course, interlinked, not least in their attempt to define this as an epochal moment while struggling to “save the system” from itself.

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