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Economics must grapple with culture—but not prosecute culture wars

Make serious suggestions to tackle the grievances of left-behind Britain, and you soon run into backlash from commentators who would glorify its rage

By Martin Sandbu  

Blyth Valley on the morning after the 2019 election

One of the most consequential policy questions of our age is whether it is possible to address economic and social polarisation in the western world without engaging in a culture war on liberal cosmopolitanism. In my recent book, The Economics of Belonging, I argue that it is possible, and outline a policy programme of “centrist radicalism” for how. I hope I am right: the alternative is that the deep divisions of western politics…

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