Performing Austerity: Greece’s Debt Crisis and European Integration

Shore, Cris and Raudon, Sally. 2018. Performing Austerity: Greece’s Debt Crisis and European Integration. In: Theodoro Rakopoulos, ed. The Global Life of Austerity: Economic Crises Beyond Europe. Oxford and New York: Berghahn, pp. 32-47. ISBN 9781785338700 [Book Section]

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The current era has been characterised as an ‘age of austerity’ as neoliberal monetary and fiscal policies have sought to remake Europe’s economies in their own image. Yet austerity impacts on far more than just the economic and financial sectors: as we argue, austerity entails a far wider project of social and political reform. It also embodies a new kind of government rationality, one that is having a tranformative effect on European culture and society. Nowhere is this more evident than in Greece, an EU member-state which, in many ways, has become a laboratory for the future of European integration. This chapter reflects on the impact of austerity on Greece and its implications for the EU. More specifically, we examine the narrative construction of the Greek crisis and way that EU politicians and policy makers have framed and represented the ‘Greek problem’ and its solution. We argue that austerity is not only undermining the fabric of Greek democracy society – turning the state of ‘crisis’ into the ‘new normal’ - it is also fundamentally redefining the very telos of European integration: from an ideal of a European union based on solidarity, cohesion and the ending of war, austerity is accelerating social fragmentation, producing an increasingly disunited, unequal and conflict-ridden Europe.

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1 June 2018Published

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14 Oct 2020 11:12

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14 Oct 2020 11:12


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