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Daniel M. Knight

The Greek economic crisis resonates across Europe as synonymous with corruption, poor government, austerity, financial bailouts, civil unrest, and social turmoil. The search for accountability on the local level is entangled with competing rhetorics of persuasion, fear, and complex historical consciousness. Internationally, the Greek crisis is employed as a trope to call for collective mobilization and political change. Drawing on ethnographic research conducted in Trikala, central Greece, this article outlines how accountability for the Greek economic crisis is understood in local and international arenas. Trikala can be considered a microcosm for the study of the pan-European economic turmoil as the “Greek crisis“ is heralded as a warning on national stages throughout the continent.

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Worker Reactions to Crisis

Explaining 'Bossnappings'

Nick Parsons

In France in 2009-10, several managers announcing redundancies were held hostage by workers. Although the global economic crisis and an attendant rise in unemployment may provide a catalyst for "bossnappings," the real explanations for the phenomenon have to be found partly in the institutional make up of French industrial relations that have resulted in weak, divided unions and weak and conflictual collective bargaining mechanisms. However, such institutional factors cannot provide the whole explanation. Ideas also matter, and these underlying structural weaknesses have been unable to contain radical outbursts of anger when allied to pre-existing concerns over globalization—which appeared to be vindicated by the current economic crisis—, the reactions of the government to crisis, and the incapacity of unions or the state to respond to it.

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Irwin M. Wall

The French elections of 2012 resulted in an unprecedented and overwhelming victory by France's Socialist Party, which gained control of the presidency and an absolute majority in the National Assembly to go with the party's existing domination of most of France's regions and municipalities. But the Socialist Party remains a minority party in the French electoral body politic, its victory the result of a skewered two-ballot electoral system. The Socialist government, moreover, remains hampered in its action by its obligations toward the European Union and its participation in the zone of countries using the Euro as it attempts to deal with France's economic crisis. As a consequence of both of these phenomena the government may also be sitting atop a profound political crisis characterized by the alienation of a good part of the electorate from the political system.

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The U.S. Economic Crisis

A Marxian Analysis

Richard D. Wolff

The U.S. economy’s high-tech sector (internet, computers, telecommunications, etc.) burst its classic speculative bubble in 2000. The Nasdaq stock market lost 40 per cent of its value during the year and lost another 20 per cent in the first quarter of 2001. The Nasdaq dragged down most other stock market indicators in the U.S. Trillions of dollars in U.S. wealth vanished. The wealthiest citizens turned away from the stock market as rapid losses replaced the absurdly high gains of 1999. Other U.S. citizens watched in horror as their recent expansions of securities holdings rapidly shrank in value (also confronting many with vanished savings and reduced retirement benefits since their pensions were invested in ‘history’s greatest boom’). See Appendix 5 for the details on U.S. stock ownership patterns. Industries began to scale back their investment programs as rapid growth shifted to slow growth and recession loomed. The majority of workers slowed their spending and their accumulation of debt because of falling stock prices and because they fear a recession’s impact on wages, benefits, and job security. All these negative developments are continuing into 2001.

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Alessandro Chiaramonte

The Italian general elections held in February 2013 ended up in stalemate. The center-left coalition won the absolute majority of seats in the Chamber of Deputies but not in the Senate, making it impossible to form any homogeneous governing majority. In the end, the only available opstion to support the new cabinet was a “grand coalition” of parties from different political sides. This chapter analyzes this destabilizing outcome, taking into account a number of factors: the success of a new anti-establishment party, the Five Star Movement, which has become the largest party in the country; the significant loss of votes by the center-left and especially by the center-right, compared to the previous elections of 2008; the peculiar nature and functioning of the electoral system; the extraordinary level of vote shifts; the “new” electoral geography; the crisis of the bipolar setting; and the transformation of the party system.

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Tim Rieniets

In the past two centuries, urban growth has increased at a rapid pace, mainly driven by the demographic impact of industrialization. Besides urban growth, as this article argues, effects of industrialization have likewise intensified urban shrinkage. Cities of the industrial age have experienced unprecedented economic crises followed by waves of out-migration; they have suffered from violent destruction, made possible by the mechanization of war; they have been drained by suburbanization driven by an industrialized building sector and increasing private car ownership; and they have undergone processes of deindustrialization followed by losses of workplaces and population. This article outlines the historic development of urban shrinkage in the twentieth century, with a particular focus on the aged industrial countries. Based on an extensive evaluation of historic population data, the article provides an overview of the most relevant causes of shrinking cities, and offers an outlook on future demographic trends.

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Social Criticism through Humour in the Digital Age

Multimodal Extension in the Works of Aleix Saló

Javier Muñoz-Basols and Marina Massaguer Comes

institutional spheres, such as the 2008 economic crisis, as narrative frames. 2 Some of these works have even been described as handbooks of economics and economic critiques for the lay audience. 3 Aleix Saló, born in 1983, is probably one of the most

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Migration and Citizenship in “Athens of Crisis”

An Interview with Vice Mayor Lefteris Papagiannakis

Aris Komporozos-Athanasiou and Nina Papachristou

haven’t been discovered yet. These are the real issues—not where someone was born, that’s already not really relevant anymore, especially in the long term. Komporozos-Athanasiou Can you talk a bit more about the link between the economic crisis and the

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From Toilet Paper Wars to #ViralKindness?

COVID-19, Solidarity and the Basic Income Debate in Australia

Anne Décobert

's claim that we are ‘all in this together’. 2 The socio-economic crisis brought about by COVID-19 reveals cracks in existing welfare systems and the need for radical transformation. At the same time – if we are to believe public discourses – the