Accounting for national success and failure: Rethinking the UK case

Sukhdev Johal, Ismail Erturk, Julie Froud, Adam Leaver, Karel Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Using the British case we reveal that the standard measure of GDP is a misleading indicator of success and failure. The national accounting aggregate of GDP abstracts from specific economic context(s) and challenges facing the British economy and limits policy options. Policy makers should engage in national specifics and a more sophisticated deconstructed reading of measures such as GDP. What is needed is a progressive kind of bricolage where financial and physical numbers generated by socially minded accountants are deployed to inform a new political arithmetic in the aftermath of the financial crisis.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberVol. 36; Issue 1;
Pages (from-to)5-17
Number of pages13
JournalAccounting Forum
VolumeVol. 36
Issue numberIssue 1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012


  • Financial crisis
  • GDP
  • Political arithmetic

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