Contention in the age of austerity in Europe: the emergence of new alternatives?

Bailey, David and Parks, Louisa (2018) Contention in the age of austerity in Europe: the emergence of new alternatives? Comparative European Politics, 16 (1). pp. 1-8. ISSN 1472-4790

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The series of economic crises that began in 2007 - but which took a specific form in Europe from 2010 onwards - marked the onset of the so-called ‘age of austerity’. Whilst the ‘silver age of permanent austerity’ had already been declared prior to 2008 (Ferrera 2008), events since 2010 have brought about a sense of the further consolidation of austerity and neoliberalism, sometimes to an overwhelming degree (Blyth 2013; Stanley 2014). Indeed, on occasion it feels as if understanding the imposition and impact of austerity is both necessary and sufficient to understanding the present. This sense of being overwhelmed by austerity, however, needs at the very least to be accompanied by a consideration of the alternatives to austerity and neoliberalism that are continually proposed, advanced and which challenge and contest the seemingly prevalent austerity agenda (Huke et al, 2015). If we fail to study, highlight, explore and examine alternatives that are being created in the present, we risk denying through our scholarship what could otherwise be sources of inspiration and hope. The crisis has not only closed down opportunities, but also witnessed a wave of new forms of contestation, resistance, and the construction (or the attempt to construct) a range of alternatives that counter an otherwise gloomy scenario where neoliberalism is both victorious and endless. It is to these avenues for change and hope that we turn our attention in this special issue.

Keywords:Contention, Europe (General), European Union, Austerity, Social Movements
Subjects:L Social studies > L200 Politics
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Social & Political Sciences
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ID Code:24199
Deposited On:23 Sep 2016 21:26

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