Participants critically reflected on how the austerity avalanche had thwarted the feasibility of forging solidarity ties between the members of the network. As Stelios states:. Concerning the country's future, as the following extracts illustrate, participants are teetering between hope and despair, fluctuating between pessimism and fighting spirit and aligning with ethnocentric ideologies. I see that in the future every month and every year is getting worse… I foresee that things won't get better when the government changes if it changes…I don't see that we will experience something positive for many years.
All Greeks, becoming 'normal' and obedient citizens and abandoning eastern characteristics, are forced to enter — through austerity — in a full process of westernization Mentinis, These problematic dimensions of the neoliberal narrative — widely underscored by participants of this study — are pressing concerns Gane, ; Read, Participants — and similarly positioned Euro-American citizens — have been gravely impacted by appallingly destructive neoliberal adjustments, severe austerity measures and astounding national and personal debt.
Feelings of nostalgia for a lost era of social cohesion, the patriotic framing of their struggles and the unquestioning approval of the liberal, colonial and individualized conceits of property ownership see also Roy, are some examples of the general controversial responses of the citizens of Global North to the current crisis. This blurring between the polemics against neoliberalism and austerity regimes and the difficulties involved in disputing well-established values and ways of being before the crisis is the crux of the idiotypic befuddlement discussed in the present research.
Despite the aforementioned problematic dimensions of their struggles and taking into consideration the individualising nature of debt, the process of creating an anti-foreclosure network can be considered a liberatory step. SAOR members have chosen to resolve the austerity regime's ramifications by adopting active, collective and solidarity discourses participation in a coalition and not a self-destructive and individualistic stance the suicide or passivity options.
Their understandings of the coalition's praxis exemplify how they construe social justice when it comes to debt and austerity and their strategies to change a system that seems oppressive to them. In addition, to our knowledge, this is the first study focusing on an anti-foreclosure and anti-debt coalition in Greece.
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Furthermore, there are many avenues for further research. Also, our research was not longitudinal limiting the connections that we can validly make between successful foreclosure interventions, bankrupt businesses, SAOR members' responses and changes in government policies. Longitudinal research is sorely needed to develop deeper understandings of the implications of such complicated life and historical circumstances.
It is important to note, that this is a localized qualitative study and further inquiry should be made into the anti-foreclosure coalitions that have sprouted across Greece and Southern Europe. Additionally, the prism of this research differs from the majority of psychological studies, which focus on the psychological profile of debtor or on the internal and psychological factors, which are studied as causes of over-indebtedness Walker et al.
Many studies also, that highlight the enormous human cost of austerity regimes, reproduce mainstream psychologized narratives and discourses. In contrast, we attempted to highlight how people are reacting to the structural factors that have played an essential role in the debt crisis and pinpointed an urgent need to reposition debt in its psychosocial, political and economic context.
It is social scientists' debt to talk about debt.
The Neoliberal Myth of Austerity: Debt and Solidarity in the Forefront of Public Space
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Georgios A. Panos - Google Scholar -sitaatit
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The Politics of International Political Economy
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Europe as a whole is the latest victim of global neoliberal economic policies. The global financial crisis that reached its peak in September-October has become a global employment crisis. This crisis has engulfed Europe threatening to dismantle the last vestiges of its social market economy and complete the destruction of fundamental social rights of workers.
Since the Maastricht Treaty in which Europe fully expressed its intention to embrace and reinforce the global neoliberal project, the erosion of social welfare guarantees has proceeded with only popular resistance standing in the way of the complete dismantling of social democracy. Now, as the global crisis has spread all over Europe, bringing to the forefront the flaws of the euro as a single currency throughout the EU, fiscal problems and sovereign debt have emerged as pressing issues.
Fiscal discipline and severe austerity measures are being implemented in order to tame the global financial markets and provide stability to the European banking system.
Greece, having already received one gigantic rescue package in order to avoid bankruptcy and the contamination of the rest of the euro-periphery, is under the command of the EU and the IMF and has become subjected to unprecedented draconian austerity measures. In Greece, Portugal, and Spain, "social democratic" governments came to power with a mandate for the implementation of a progressive agenda, but, in the face of market pressures and direct orders from the EU and the IMF, quickly discarded even the pretext of being agents of progressive reform and began to impose unprecedented cuts and austerity measures which reduce significantly the standard of living for working people through the rollback of long established social programs, social entitlements and social rights.
Programmatically there is no longer anything that sets apart southern European "social democratic parties" from neoliberal parties. Greece is by far the most striking example of how politically opportunistic social democratic parties have become in the age of global neoliberalism. It rejected the claims of the centre-right political party, New Democracy which was in power since , that huge deficits and a lack of state funds made any talk about massive public spending and investment highly irresponsible, and promised a break with rightist policies.
Worse, Papandreou also the leader of the Second International wooed voters by telling them "there is plenty of money around" and declared that, if elected as prime minister, his government would manifest "the political will" to find money for the common folk, just as it had been found to bail out the banks.