I am aware of a variety of normative accounts of the desirability of Thatcher's politics in the social domain; and of the broad opinions regarding her competence (generally highly competent, poll tax as a form of hubris). However, I've not had the chance to read the scholarly literature on Thatcher and probably never will have such a chance.

What are the major academic perspectives over both Thatcher's competence and the desirability of her policy? Have studies of Thatcher ever gone through a cycle of revision or debate above and beyond the initial controversies of the day. Is Thatcher generally held to be competent by scholars, with opinion dividing over desirability? Is there unity on desirability, but division over competence? Where do such schools of thought have their basis—is it alignment with higher order theoretical or political perspectives, or a division by sub-discipline (social versus cultural history, for example)?

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    Margaret Thatcher once once famously "reached into her briefcase and took out a book. It was [Friedrich] Hayek's The Constitution of Liberty. Interrupting our pragmatist, she held the book up for all of us to see. 'This', she said sternly, 'is what we believe', and banged Hayek down on the table." You'd be able find lots of scholarly debate around Hayek, although I doubt that her and his positions were actually that close. Also watch out for the next ed. of The Economist: I'm sure they'll include a special obituary.
    – Drux
    Commented Apr 9, 2013 at 7:52
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    The Shock Doctrine has a chapter on Thatcher. And I'm sure Noam Chomsky has written about her. Scholary enough? Commented Apr 15, 2013 at 21:28
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    Chomsky lacks adequate disciplinary training in historiography, and I doubt his capacity to engage in scholarly political science. Outside of linguistics he is best viewed as a pop-intellectual, especially if you broadly agree with the politics he espouses: Own worst advocate. Klein is fairly poppy, but she specifically does it for a living, and she has a steady publication record. Klein yeah, Chomsky nah. Commented Apr 15, 2013 at 22:23
  • @SamuelRussell: Both give a lot of sources. Commented Apr 17, 2013 at 22:50
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    You should be aware of political bias. I seem to recall a poll whereas most "professional" historians had a left leaning bent these days, at least in USA; as such, it is not surprising if they would - consciously or not - be less positive when evaluating Thatcher's competence and especially politics. Being a professional historian does not necessarily free one of biases.
    – DVK
    Commented May 29, 2013 at 18:15