Neoliberalism and Austerity: Southern Europe in the Eurozone Crisis (2010-2017)

Tipo: Congresso

Local: FLUP

Data: 21 Julho 2023 22 Julho 2023

Call for Papers:

The shock waves of the 2007-2008 financial crisis threw the world into a global recession whose impacts were severely felt in Southern Europe. If the crisis affected the financial and banking system of the entire European Union (EU) and led to a prolonged sovereign debt crisis in the Eurozone (2010-2017), its effects were particularly significant and structural in Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain. After the austerity recipe was applied, in the 1970s and 1980s, by the World Bank (WB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), particularly, in developing countries on the Asian, African and South American continents, but also in some European countries such as Portugal in 1978 and 1983, the Eurozone crisis set the tone for the deepening and generalisation of this policy in the peripheral States of the EU.

The financialisation of the economy, the monetarism, the economic and the deregulation of the relations of production, the Welfare State dismantling and the orthodoxy around the deficit control, the debt and the public expenditure are structuring and characterising axes of the political-ideological and economic-social agenda of neoliberalism. The popularisation and international legitimacy of its theses with the attribution of Nobel Prize in Economics to Friedrich Hayek (1974) and Milton Friedman (1976) and the electoral triumphs of Margaret Thatcher (1979) and Ronald Reagan (1980) marked a rupture – heightened by the USSR and “real socialism” implosion (1989-1991) and by the affirmation of the Third Way politics in the social-democratic and labour parties of the Euro-American world (1980-1990) – with the Western Europe post-World War II political and economic-social architecture.

Austerity must, in this sense, be considered in the light of the context, the process and the consequences of neoliberalism and globalisation hegemonism. These inaugurate a new international order – post-soviet – marked by the qualitative inflation of words-concepts-values such as market and individual, but also by the rejection of ideology, plurality and transience. The market economy and liberal democracy, as understood in the Euro-American world, represented, for some, the end of history and a new era of technical, economic and political rationalism. Political plurality and divergence are only acceptable if they do not call into question the hard core of neoliberal doxa. In fact, the orthodoxy and inflexibility with which the EU, the ECB and the IMF formulated the financial bailouts and structural adjustment programs implemented in Portugal and Greece and the way in which the first two dealt with Italy and Spain sovereign debt crises, demonstrate how, despite the consequences on the economic and social fabric of these countries, Margaret Thatcher's there is no alternative guided the economic-financial policy of the EU, the ECB and the IMF.

The bailouts and financial adjustment programs imposed on the most affected countries, as well as the refusal of communal-based solutions aimed at sharing the costs and consequences of the crisis and rethinking the economic integration processes and mechanisms, based their justification on a priori and essentialist considerations towards Southern Europe peoples and governments, holding them responsible for the financial crisis in which they found themselves. The European Commission, the ECB and the EU most economically developed countries rejected any responsibility in the crisis that disproportionately affected the Southern Europe countries, revealing, in their speech and action, that those they represented as unproductive, irresponsible, spendthrifts and most susceptible to corruption were not deserving of the support and solidarity of rich and enterprising Central-North Europe.

Organised by Transdisciplinary Research Centre «Culture, Space and Memory» (CITCEM), of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of University of Porto, this Congress aims to contribute to deepening the reflection and to open, transversal and multidisciplinary scientific debate about the different dimensions that characterise the neoliberal agenda and thinking, the integration and convergence processes of Southern European countries within the EU, the crisis of their sovereign debts and the austerity programs they applied between 2010 and 2017, from the perspectives of History, Sociology, Political Science, Philosophy, Anthropology, Communication Sciences, Law, Economics and Cultural and Literary Studies.

 

In this sense, we invite all those interested to submit communication proposals around the following thematic lines:

- Neoliberalism and austerity: history, socio-political program, economic agenda, academic and media expression;

- Neoliberalism and austerity as ethics and morals;

- Neoliberalism and austerity in everyday life: impoverishment, inequality, precarious work, unemployment, emigration;

- Bailouts and structural adjustment programs and their consequences;

- Neoliberalism and austerity – reflections on the Welfare State;

- Southern Europe and the European Union: European and Eurozone construction and integration process and its consequences for peripheral States economies;

- Responses and political consequences of the Eurozone crisis in the EU and its Member States, particularly in Southern Europe;

- Southern Europe self-representations in the crisis context and Central-North Europe representations (press, institutions, governments) towards the South;

- Populism, neoliberalism and crisis: interdependent or autonomous phenomena?;

- Political, social, economic and cultural alternatives to neoliberalism and austerity;

- Neoliberalism, recession and austerity expressions in artistic-cultural production.

 

Submit an abstract before March 31 2023

The abstract (max 300 words) must be sent to neoliberalismoeausteridade@gmail.com. When submitting your abstract, please indicate 3-5 keywords and send a short CV.

Organising Committee:

Bruno Madeira (ICS/UM and CITCEM/UP)

Conceição Meireles Pereira (CITCEM/UP)

Paula Grenha (ICS/UM)

 

Scientific Commission:

Ana Sofia Ferreira (IHC/UNL e FLUP)

António Costa Pinto (ICS/ISCTE)

Gaspar Martins Pereira (CITCEM)

Fátima Moura Ferreira (Lab2PT/UM)

Luís Velasco-Martínez (Universidade de Vigo)

Manuel Loff (IHC/UNL e FLUP)

Patrícia Alves de Matos (CRIA/ISCTE)

Rodrigo Turin (UFRJ; LETHE)

Silvia Correia (FLUP)

Virgílio Borges Pereira (IS-UP)

 

Secretariat:

Bruna Lobo (CITCEM/FLUP)

Estefânia Lopes (CITCEM/FLUP)

Tânia Ferreira (CITCEM/FLUP)

 

Deadlines for registration and communications submission:

Deadline for abstract submission: March 31, 2023

Notification of acceptance: until May 15, 2023

Registration opening and deadline: between May 15 and June 1, 2023

 

Registration fees*:

CITCEM members and participants with communication – free but mandatory registration (until June 1, 2023)

Other participants without communication: until July 15, 2023 – 30€

Students: until July 15, 2023 – 10€

Free assistance (no access to documentation and coffee breaks)

* Includes documentation, coffee breaks and participation certificates

Possibility for online attendance and participation.

 

Languages:

Portuguese, Spanish, English and French

Contacts:

Tel.: 226077177 | email: citcem@letras.up.pt