Impacts of the Global Financial Crisis on Cities in Europe

An Introduction to Urban Austerity

von und

In the period since the Wall Street crash, the refurbished rationale for austerity measures is that the imposition of strict fiscal discipline and government spending cuts is the (only) way to restore budgetary integrity – thereby securing the confidence of the investor class, appeasing the jittery markets and paving the way to growth. The critical test case that is Europe, of course, shows no signs of working. (Peck, 2012: 626)

“Malakes! You are the refugees of Europe” - slogans on the National Academy. Foto: Julia Tulke
“Malakes! You are the refugees of Europe” - slogans on the National Academy. Foto: Julia Tulke, 2013

1. Introduction

Since 2010, the global financial and economic crisis – which began, in 2008, as a result of the mortgage crisis of 2007 – has transformed into a sovereign debt crisis (Altvater, 2011; Blyth, 2013; Whitfield, 2014). Throughout each of these interconnected phases, cities have been at the center of the turmoil (Gotham, 2009; Hadjimichalis, 2011; Harvey, 2011; Martin, 2011; Blazek & Netrdova, 2012; Donald et al., 2014; Tabb, 2014; Eckardt & Sanchez, 2015). The economic crisis and the “fiscal dictatorship” (Lehndorff, 2012: 8ff) imposed by German and European elites in the years that followed (Bieling, 2011; Hadjimichalis, 2011; Demirovic & Sablowski, 2012) have dramatically affected urban regions: indebted homeowners have been evicted, masses impoverished, public budgets squeezed, municipal infrastructures privatized, public services downsized, and, above all, austerity measures implemented.

In December 2014, more than 80 urban scholars, politicians and social movement activists from ten different countries came together at the Institute for European Urban Studies (IfEU) at Bauhaus-Universität Weimar to share their research on the impacts of the global financial crisis on European cities as well as the experiences these cities have made with urban austerity policies. As a result, the conference has placed an issue that affects most people living in urban regions across Europe into the center of attention: the idea that fiscal austerity is an unavoidable political necessity in spite of its harsh consequences. The seemingly unavoidable hegemonic paradigm driving European politics is the idea that public budgets must be balanced and that this can only be achieved by way of frugal policies and an even leaner state than that which already exists: whether school buildings or bridges are nearly in ruins, public housing, waste management and/or health care are being privatized and reorganized according to profitability, participation in planning processes is being sacrificed on the altar of inter-urban competition, or the masses proclaim their resistance.

Kommentar hinzufügen

Meistgelesene Beiträge

Alle

auf theaterderzeit.de

Zum Leben zu wenig, zum Sterben zu viel

Erst streicht die Stadt dem Autorentheaterprojekt Wiener Wortstätten die Förderung – dann droht ein EU-Projekt zu platzen. Mitgründer Bernhard Studlar im Gespräch

Extrem unwahrscheinlich

Haslach und Finkenschlag – Die Langzeit bespielung eines Stadtteils und der nicht zu ersetzende menschliche Faktor

Theater-News

Alle

auf theaterderzeit.de

Trauer um Ulrike Zemme

Ulrike Zemme, Chefdramaturgin des Theaters in der Josefstadt, ist im 62. Lebensjahr nach…

Autorinnen und Autoren des Verlags

A - Z

Bild von Falk Richter

Falk Richter

Bild von Friedrich Dieckmann

Friedrich Dieckmann

Bild von Wolfgang Engler

Wolfgang Engler

Bild von Sasha Marianna Salzmann

Sasha Marianna Salzmann

Bild von Kathrin Röggla

Kathrin Röggla

Bild von Joachim Fiebach

Joachim Fiebach

Bild von Hans-Thies Lehmann

Hans-Thies Lehmann

Bild von Milo Rau

Milo Rau

Bild von Etel Adnan

Etel Adnan

Bild von Dirk Baecker

Dirk Baecker

Bild von Bernd Stegemann

Bernd Stegemann

Bild von Ralph Hammerthaler

Ralph Hammerthaler

Bild von Michael Schindhelm

Michael Schindhelm

Bild von Heiner Goebbels

Heiner Goebbels

Bild von Gunnar Decker

Gunnar Decker

Bild von Nis-Momme Stockmann

Nis-Momme Stockmann

Bild von Lutz Hübner

Lutz Hübner

Bild von Josef Bierbichler

Josef Bierbichler