The Siren Song of Austerity and the Erosion of the Centre

by Benjamin Studebaker

Ten years on from the beginning of the financial crisis, voters in Britain and around the world seem to be wearying of austerity, yet western governments remain committed to deficit reduction. POLIS PhD student Benjamin Studebaker explores why the idea of a balanced budget is so powerful and argues that spending cuts have contributed to the collapse of confidence in the 'centrist' political establishment.