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Syriza Against Austerity and the Troika – A Reading List

Maya Osborne 6 February 2015

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Syriza’s historic victory in Greece on Sunday 25 January has meant that the radical Left coalition announced the formation of an ‘anti-austerity’ government. These recent events have also seen the European Central Bank restricting financing to the country’s banks, resulting in stock markets falling and Greek banks’ access to cash becoming more expensive. In light of these changes, we bring you an essential reading list that aims to analytically and critically shed light on the situation in Greece and its wider international implications. As Etienne Balibar has observed, “This is the first time that any popular force has proven able to pose a challenge to the ‘governance’ that has dominated Europe ever since the ‘neoliberal’ turn. This rupture is taking place in a ‘small country’, but the Greek experience has its echoes everywhere.”

Click here to read Syriza MP, Costas Lapavitsas, on Greece’s future in the Eurozone.

Click here to read Heiner Flassbeck on the recent events in Greece.

All books listed are available for direct purchase from our site at discounts of 50% off ebooks and 40% off paperbacks with free shipping, and ebooks bundled with your print purchase where available. 

Against the Troika: Crisis and Austerity in the Eurozone - Heiner Flassbeck and Costas Lapavitsas
Building on the economic analysis of two of Europe’s leading thinkers, Heiner Flassbeck and Costas Lapavitsas, Against the Troika is the first book to propose a strategic left-wing plan for how peripheral countries could exit the euro. With a change in government in Greece, and looming political transformations in countries such as Spain, this major intervention lays out a radical, anti-capitalist programme at a critical juncture for Europe. The final three chapters offer a detailed postmortem of the Greek catastrophe, explain what can be learned from it - and provide a possible alternative.

The Extreme Centre: A Warning - Tariq Ali
What is the point of elections? The result is always the same: a victory for the Extreme Centre. Since 1989, politics has become a contest to see who can best serve the needs of the market, a competition now fringed by unstable populist movements. The same catastrophe has taken place in the US, Britain, Continental Europe and Australia. In this urgent and wide-ranging case for the prosecution, Tariq Ali looks at the people and the events that have informed this moment of political suicide: corruption in Westminster; the failures of the EU and NATO; the soft power of the American Empire that dominates the world stage uncontested.

For Another Europe: A Class Analysis of European Economic Integration - Guglielmo Carchedi
In this innovative work, Guglielmo Carchedi argues that only an analysis centered on class as the basic unit of social life, with production and distribution of value understood as the bedrock of the economy, can throw light on the internal contradictions of European economic integration.

Profiting Without Producing: How Finance Exploits Us All - Costas Lapavitsas
Financialization is one of the most innovative concepts to emerge in the field of political economy in the last three decades, although there is no agreement on what exactly it is. Profiting Without Producing defines financialization in terms of the fundamental conduct of non-financial enterprises, banks and households. Its most prominent feature is the rise of financial profit, in part extracted directly from households through financial expropriation. 

Never Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste: How Neoliberalism Survived the Financial Meltdown - Philip Mirowski
At the onset of the Great Recession, as house prices sank and joblessness soared, many commentators concluded that the economic convictions behind the disaster would now be consigned to history. And yet, in the harsh light of a new day, we’ve awoken to a second nightmare more ghastly than the first: a political class still blaming government intervention, a global drive for austerity, stagflation, and an international sovereign debt crisis. Philip Mirowski finds an apt comparison to this situation in classic studies of cognitive dissonance. He concludes that neoliberal thought has become so pervasive that any countervailing evidence serves only to further convince disciples of its ultimate truth.

They Can't Represent Us!: Reinventing Democracy from Greece to Occupy - Dario Azzellini and Marina Sitrin with a foreword by David Harvey
Written by two international activist intellectuals and based on extensive interviews with movement participants in Spain, Venezuela, Argentina, across the United States, and elsewhere, this book is an expansive portrait of the assemblies, direct democracy forums, and organizational forms championed by the new movements, as well as an analytical history of direct and participatory democracy from ancient Athens to Zuccotti Park. The new movements put forward the idea that liberal democracy is not democratic, nor was it ever.

Meltdown: The End of the Age of Greed - Paul Mason
Meltdown is the gripping account of the financial collapse that destroyed the West’s investment banks, brought the global economy to its knees, and undermined three decades of neoliberal orthodoxy. Covering the development of the crisis from the economic front line, BBC Newsnight journalist Paul Mason explores the roots of the US and UK’s financial hubris, documenting the real-world causes and consequences from the Ford factory, to Wall Street, to the City of London. In this fully updated new edition, he recounts how the credit crunch became a full-blown financial crisis, and explores its impact on capitalist ideology and politics in our new age of austerity.

Why It's Still Kicking Off Everywhere: The New Global Revolutions Paul Mason
Originally published in 2012 to wide acclaim, this updated edition, Why It’s Still Kicking Off Everywhere, includes coverage of the most recent events in the wave of revolt and revolution sweeping the planet—riots in Athens, student occupations in the UK, Quebec and Moscow, the emergence of the Occupy Movement and the tumult of the Arab Spring. Economic crisis, social networking and a new political consciousness have come together to ignite a new generation of radicals.

New Old World - Perry Anderson

Anderson's New Old World is a go to guide for anyone trying to understand the development of European Union and the overarching notion of a unified European identity. It takes into account this development from the Enlightenment up to the present. The New Old World offers a critical portrait of a continent now increasingly hailed as a moral and political example to the world at large.

Crisis in the Eurozone Costas Lapavitsas

Turning attention to the current economic situation in the Eurozone, where the banks and top financial establishments are largely unobstructed, Lapavitsas explains what can now be called “the crisis in the Eurozone” by charting a cautious path between political economy and radical economics to envisage a restructuring reliant on the forces of organized labour and civil society.

Ruling the Void: The Hollowing of Western DemocracyPeter Mair
Peter Mair has inspired many to reconsider the political environment by walking the line between political science and activism. In Ruling the Void, Mair continues his reputation by turning his attention to party democracy and its confrontation with non-democratic forces that contradict and destroy the voice of the demos or “the people”. 

Buying Time: The Delayed Crisis of Democratic CapitalismWolfgang Streeck
Analyzing the current economic crisis which became most apparent with the 2008 crash, Streeck’s text, based on his 2012 Adorno Lectures given in Frankfurt, places the crisis in the context of the long neoliberal transformation of postwar capitalism that began in the 1970s. 

Old Europe, New Europe, Core Europe: Translantic Relations After the Iraq War Edited by Daniel Levy, Max Pensky, and John C. Torpey 
Bringing together many of the  Europe’s leading intellectual figures, including Jurgen Habermas, Jacques Derrida, Umberto Eco, and Gianni Vattimo, this text continues to prove its relevance today more than ever. Speaking with powerful insight, these thinkers wrestle with the most necessary and urgent questions about the state of politics after the Iraq war. 

Integrating Gender: Women, Law and Politics in the European Union Catherine Hoskyns
Powerfully argued and strikingly mobilizing, Hoskyns’ study integrates the necessary detail of the EU’s policy on woman’s rights with current feminist theory. This combination provides a powerful critique of the current policy of the European Union.  

The Question of Europe Edited by Perry Anderson and Peter Gowan
The Question of Europe collects some of the liveliest and sharpest commentary on Europe, across the full political spectrum, from leading authorities in the study of history, economics, philosophy, culture and sociology. Eminent German, Italian, French, Swedish and Irish writers are included, as well as key figures from Britain and the US. Looking paranormically at the past, present and future of integration, The Question of Europe brings polemic and scholarship together to offer us a new way of approaching the Union.

Filed under: greece