We’re delighted to announce the latest title in the Goldsmiths Press PERC Series: Unprecedented?: how Covid-19 Revealed the Politics of Our Economy, by a group of PERC researchers, Will Davies, Sahil Dutta, Nick Taylor and Martina Tazzioli.

The book offers an interdisciplinary exploration of how the Covid-19 pandemic shone a new and unforgiving light on the mechanics of British capitalism: the debts that were accrued, the new bordering mechanisms that were established, the profits that were extracted, the injustices of the labour market, and the inequalities of the education system.

Excerpt: ‘The rise of “rentier nationalism”The New Statesman


Media coverage

‘In the British state’s response to Covid-19, the unthinkable became thinkable’ – Interview with Will Davies in New Humanist

New Economics podcast – interview with Sahil Dutta and Nick Taylor

How the pandemic revealed the invisible conditions of ‘the economy’ – article in LSE Politics & Policy Blog by Will Davies, Sahil Dutta, Nick Taylor, Martina Tazzioli

Radio 4 Thinking Allowed – Will Davies discusses the book with Laurie Taylor

World to Win podcast – interview with Sahil Dutta and Nick Taylor


“A powerful and persuasive examination of how Covid-19 both illuminated and compounded the vast debts—monetary and non-monetary, sovereign and interpersonal—underpinning contemporary capitalism, and of the staggering inequalities associated with the establishment and repayment of those debts. The political nature of “the economy” has rarely been as clear.”

Brett Christophers, author of Rentier Capitalism


“Unprecedented? asks uncommon questions about the Covid-19 global pandemic. How did the pandemic perform crisis? And how does a particular political economy produce crisis for some but not for others? By stepping back from habitual assumptions about the nature of crisis, the authors shed light on our contemporary political economy. They provide real insight into how the Covid-19 pandemic is an extraordinary event that was nonetheless shaped by all-too-common political decisions and policies.”

Janet Roitman, author of Anti-crisis


“These authors argue that the COVID crisis revealed a British economy dependent upon the generation and redistribution of rents that were protected by the elasticity of the public balance sheet and strengthened by the capacity of the informal care sector to absorb shocks. Once both of these “deep wells” of support of the formal market-economy’ are exposed, a very different picture of the UK economy, and who benefits from it, emerges.”

Mark Blyth, author of Austerity and co-author of Angrynomics