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Against the Troika: Crisis and Austerity in the Eurozone

A radical anti-capitalist alternative to Eurozone austerity
On the 25th January 2015 the Greek people voted in an election of historic importance—not just for Greece but potentially all of Europe. The radical party Syriza was elected and austerity and the neoliberal agenda is being challenged. Suddenly it seems as if there is an alternative. But what?

The Eurozone is in a deep and prolonged crisis. It is now clear that monetary union is a historic failure, beyond repair—and certainly not in the interests of Europe’s working people.

Building on the economic analysis of two of Europe’s leading thinkers, Heiner Flassbeck and Costas Lapavitsas (a candidate standing for election on Syriza’s list), 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.

Against the Troika is a practical blueprint for real change in a continent wracked by crisis and austerity.

Reviews

  • “Lapavitsas is fascinating and thoughtful.”
  • “Costas Lapavitsas is part of the cadre of academics-turned-politicians forging Syriza’s economic thinking.”
  • “Highly readable … A fresh and imaginative look at the crisis, it contributes greatly to the relevant debate, and is especially useful in detailing the theoretical foundations of economic programmes advocated by the radical Left parties that have begun to gain strength across Europe, and in particular Syriza.”
  • “This little book takes up the question of what a left government can do in the face of powerful elites who have savaged the country’s infrastructure in the failed pursuit of budget surpluses. Crucially it charts a path for those who want a clearer view of the way out of the euro.”
  • “Demonstrate[s] with clarity that the mercantilist and deflationary policies pursued by Germany since the beginning of EMU must carry the blame for the great rupture that is currently threatening Europe.”
  • “For those who … still believe Europe can be reformed to deliver social justice, growth and high-welfare societies, the authors do the valuable service of spelling out what that would take: the defeat not only of the mainstream conservative parties but also of their right-wing, nationalist challengers, and the total transformation of European social democracy in the direction of heterodox, fiscally expansionist economic policy, and the triumph of the as yet untested new left parties.”

Blog

  • Making Sense of the Brexit Referendum: writers on the crisis

    In The Brexit Crisis: A Verso Report  an ebook available for free download  leading writers provide their thoughts on the EU referendum. Includes contributions from Étienne Balibar, William Davies, Akwugo Emejulu, John R. Gillingham, Peter Hallward, Laleh Khalili, Stathis Kouvelakis, Sam Kriss, Rebecca Omonira-Oyekanmi, Lara Pawson,  Wolfgang Streeck, and more.


    Ed Everett / Flickr

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  • For A Revolutionary Universalism

    Stathis Kouvelakis served on the central committee of Syriza, and currently teaches political theory at King’s College London. Here he makes the case for a revolutionary universalism in light of the institutionalised racism in Western society.

    On 25 May 2016 a meeting was held in opposition to ‘the escalating Islamophobia and attacks on civil liberties’ as well as the ‘securitarian, militarist, racist and ultra-neoliberal onslaught’ driven by the current government. The meeting was called by numerous activist networks and organisations who identify with ‘political anti-racism’, and it took the form of a ‘public trial’. The ‘accused’ had to respond to the ‘indictment’ levelled by Nacir Guénif-Souilamas in the role of ‘president of the tribunal,’ aided by Omar Slaouti in the role of ‘attorney-general’. Called to the stand, Stathis Kouvelakis had to answer for his ‘inability to understand French universalism in the slightest’.

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  • An Open Letter to the British Left

    This essay was first published in Jacobin


    (2015 Plan B conference: Stefano Fassina, Oskar Lafontaine, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, and Yanis Varoufakis. via melenchon.fr)

    Dear friends and comrades,

    To a foreigner who has been living and working in the United Kingdom for the last sixteen years, the immediate post-referendum situation appears highly paradoxical. It seems as if the shock has been of such a magnitude that even the most celebrated British virtues — sense of humor, understatement and, above all, solid common sense — have faded away.

    On the losing side, which includes, of course, most of the media and the economic and political establishment, the impact is as devastating as it is unexpected. The markets are plunging all over the world and the City of London, the economy’s central nervous system, faces disaster.

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Other books by Heiner Flassbeck and Costas Lapavitsas Afterword by Alberto Garzón Espinosa Foreword by Oskar Lafontaine Preface by Paul Mason

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