Monetary Disunion: Greek Crisis and Ordoliberal Assemblages

Šelmić, Radman. 2023. Monetary Disunion: Greek Crisis and Ordoliberal Assemblages. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

This thesis elucidates the Greek financial crisis and contextualizes it in a broader crisis of the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). Instead of analysing the Greek turmoil as an endogenous economic phenomenon generated by uncontrolled public debt, this thesis conceptualizes it as a manifestation of the broader balance-of-payment crisis within the EMU. Only after contextualizing it within the EMU can we understand how the internal imperfections of the monetary union have created the macroeconomic vulnerabilities of the smaller and weaker economies, in particular Greece. In addition, only after broadening the object of the analysis do we understand how internal power constellations within the EMU have enabled misrepresentation of the flaws of the monetary union as flaws of national economies, and consequently transferred the financial and moral responsibility for the crisis from the private sector to the Greek public sector. This thesis has identified the following four most important mechanisms for transferring responsibility for the crisis. The first is the conservative and independent shared central bank the ECB (European Central Bank), which is not institutionally conceptualized to support governments. The second mechanism is speculative attacks on the sovereign bonds, which were enabled by the fact that country members share the same central bank but have individual sovereign bonds. The third is Ordoliberalism, which has defined hegemonic German neo-mercantilism but also influenced the ECB institutional objectives and the EMU policies. The fourth is the policy of austerity and internal devaluation of labour, which is presented as the only way for addressing the crisis. These four interrelated mechanisms – ECB, attacks on sovereign bonds, Ordoliberalism and austerity – are analysed as assemblages within the integral assemblage (EMU). I revitalise Deleuze and Guattari’s concept of assemblage in a sense which substantially differs from the concept and practice developed in economic performativity.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):


Greek crisis, Ordoliberalism, Deleuze and Guattari, Financialization, Eurozone, postcolonial, performativity, Varoufakis

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies


30 November 2023

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

08 Dec 2023 17:08

Last Modified:

11 Dec 2023 12:09


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