First, there was the credit crunch, and governments around the world stepped in to bail out the banks. The sequel to that debacle is the sovereign debt crisis, which has hit the eurozone hard. The hour has come to pay the piper, and ordinary citizens across Europe are growing to realize that socialism for the wealthy means punching a few new holes in their already-tightened belts.
Building on his work as a leading member of the renowned Research on Money and Finance group, Costas Lapavitsas argues that European austerity is counterproductive. Cutbacks in public spending will mean a longer, deeper recession, worsen the burden of debt, further imperil banks, and may soon spell the end of monetary union itself.
Crisis in the Eurozone charts a cautious path between political economy and radical economics to envisage a restructuring reliant on the forces of organized labour and civil society. The clear-headed rationalism at the heart of this book conveys a controversial message, unwelcome in many quarters but soon to be echoed across the continent: impoverished states have to quit the euro and cut their losses or worse hardship will ensue.
Wolfgang Streeck, director of the Max Planck Institute for Social Research in Cologne and author of Buying Time: The Delayed Crisis of Democratic Capitalism and the forthcoming How Will Capitalism End? reviews Jürgen Habermas's The Lure of Technology, his new book on the crisis of the European Union.
In the wake of Podemos’ direct challenge to the two-party system in Spain, we have an exclusive extract from Pablo Iglesias’ Politics in a Time of Crisis: Podemos and the Future of Democracy in Europe. In it, Iglesias discusses Podemos’ success in challenging the dominant political and economic consensus in Spain while connecting wider audiences to political ideas too often barricaded in academia.