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Archive for setembre, 2012

set. 21 2012

Sociological accounts of the Euro crisis

Since 2010 the Euro  is suffering a deep crisis. Current analyses of this situation draw on a couple of key ideas from sociological theory.

First, sociologists have argued that globalisation not only takes place above but also within the state. The increasing influence of the executive branch, with a faster temporality which is easily coupled with the time frame of the global financial capital, has been highlighted by Saskia Sassen (e.g. here). Certainly, the turn towards the ‘creative austerity’ agenda, the continuous interplay between governments and central banks, between the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the member states, as well as the growing Constitutional debate on the bail-out funds in Germany illustrate this ‘de-nationalisation’ very clearly.

Secondly, a wave of conflicts is spreading throughout Europe. Besides strikes and rallies in the deficit countries that are undertaking the hardest cuts, elections are also triggering bitter debates in Finland, France, the Netherlands and (increasingly) in Germany. These are not only intra-national conflicts between elites and masses but also cross-national conflicts between the elites of deficit member states and their Northern creditors, as well as between the masses of these countries. The German Sociologist Georg Voruba analyses this “complex conflict constellation” here.

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