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The Debt Crisis and European Democratic Legitimacy
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"For a masterful, critical account of the crises of debt and democracy in Europe, there is nothing better than this book. It argues that the Eurozone debt crisis is not just economic but also political - and that EU leaders' proposed solutions cannot solve the problems in ways that will remedy the democratic deficit. This is a must-read for those looking for a readable account of how the economic crisis came about, how it interrelates with the political crisis, and why they are so dangerous." - Vivien Schmidt, University of Boston, USA "Europe is facing a crisis of debt and competitiveness. But it is also facing a crisis of democracy and legitimacy. As Huw Macartney shows in this powerful new analysis the two crises are intertwined but also pull in different directions, subjecting the project of ever closer union to enormous strain. His book is notable both for its insights into the dynamics of the crisis and for its speculation on how the policies of market discipline and austerity could spark new forms of resistance." - Andrew Gamble, University of Cambridge, UK "Macartney presents the European response to the current economic crisis as the culmination of a long-term European project aimed at institutionalising and depoliticising the neoliberal economic model, beyond the reach of democratic control - a process closely paralleling the experiences of much of the developing world in, and since, the 1980s debt crisis. The tension between the need for legitimacy to instil market confidence and the diminution of legitimacy arising from the depoliticisation process, he argues, gives rise to a potential crisis of the state whose outcome remains uncertain. While perhaps optimistic, his appeal to transnationalisation of resistance within Europe may be the best hope we have to emerge from the present crisis with some semblance of democratic control and social provision." - David Woodward, New Economics Foundation, UK "This is an exceptionally timely book. The Eurozone crisis has moved the European project from the domain of distant regulations and institutions into the realm of taxation and spending, which is at the very heart of national democracy. Rightly concluding that it is no longer possible to separate economics and politics in the response to the Eurozone crisis, Macartney tackles one of Europe's greatest challenges: how to reconcile efforts to save a cross-border single currency - which are inherently supranational - with popular legitimacy, which remains overwhelmingly grounded in national democracy. As Macartney concludes, the outcome is indeed open-ended." - Mats Persson, Open Europe Think Tank, UK
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Huw Macartney is Lecturer in Comparative Political Economy at the University of Manchester, UK, where he formerly held a Hallsworth Fellowship in Political Economy. His research focuses on the politics of finance and banking and has been published in Review of International Studies, British Journal of Politics and International Relations, Political Quarterly amongst others.
Introduction 1. The Free Market and Democracy 2. From Restructuring to Debt Crisis 3. From Debt to Depoliticisation 4. From Depoliticisation to Resistance Conclusion