Fraser of Allander Institute

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According to its website the Fraser of Allander Institute 'is a research unit of the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. The Institute carries out research on the Scottish economy, including the analysis of short term movements in economic activity.'

It is closely involved with corporate lobby groups, producing regular surveys for the Scottish Chambers of Commerce. Its Policy Director Brian Ashcroft is married to Wendy Alexander the MSP and former special advisor and Minister in the Scottish Parliament. They worked together to produce a book: New Wealth for Old Nations: Scotland's Economic Prospects (Edited by Diane Coyle, Wendy Alexander, and Brian Ashcroft), published by Princeton University Press which sets out a neoliberal vision for Scotland's future.

In the slightly coded language familiar to students of neoliberalism the blurb highlights a 'fundamental conclusion' that the blockages to neoliberal reforms are political: 'the difficulty in introducing growth-oriented policies lies more in the politics of implementing change than in the theoretical diagnosis. Public sector governance is consequently a key issue in creating a pro-growth consensus. And faster growth must be seen to improve opportunities for the population as a whole. Further, setting out the evidence--as this book does for Scotland--is vital to overcoming entrenched institutional barriers to policy reform.'[1] Note the imperative: 'must be seen', which implies that perception management is necessary to overcome policy barriers. The introductory chapter, makes this even clearer. It concludes: 'the principal conclusions and challenges emerging on policies to grow small economies in general and the Scottish economy in particular. The conclusion emphasizes the role of greater openness, incentives and capabilities in stimulating future growth. But it also stresses the importance of winning the battle for people's hearts and minds in support of good policy, because if the politics do not make sense, the policy will rarely change.' [2] In other words: we know what good policy is, the art of politics is to manage public perceptions so that the voters agree with us.


  • Grant Allan, Researcher
  • Brian Ashcroft, Professor of Economics, Policy Director
  • Alex Christie, Researcher
  • Stewart Dunlop, Researcher
  • Fraser Jamieson, Researcher
  • Cliff Lockyer, Honorary Senior Researcher
  • Kenneth Low, Researcher
  • Eleanor Malloy, Researcher
  • Isobel Sheppard, Departmental Secretary
  • Kim Swales, Professor of Economics, Research Director
  • Karen Turner, Lecturer