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University of Bath

A new industrial policy for the UK – some guidelines for policymakers

An IPR Policy Brief examining industrial strategy and the need to adopt a more proactive approach in promoting long term sustainable productive activities.

In the UK there is an emerging debate about the need to re-balance the economy away from heavy consumerism and an unhealthy reliance upon the financial sector. This has led to a revival of interest in industrial strategy and calls for the UK government to adopt a more proactive role.

Research by Professor Keith Cowling and Dr Phil Tomlinson argues that while such an approach is welcome and timely, it is also important that any new policy framework considers and addresses the underlying economic governance structures in the UK economy. They raise concerns that concentration of economic power within the (transnational) corporate sector significantly reduces the potential for industrial policy to foster enduring economic growth, and is detrimental to the wider public interest. Their research explores the prospects and makes recommendations for a new UK industrial policy by considering the experiences of industrial policies employed around the globe.