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Session Overview
RN06_02a_H: Beyond Defeat and Austerity: Disrupting (the Critical Political Economy of) Neoliberal Europe
Wednesday, 30/Aug/2017:
4:00pm - 5:30pm

Session Chair: Vera Weghmann, University of Nottingham
Session Chair: Ian Bruff, University of Manchester
Location: HB.1.12
HAROKOPIO University 70 El. Venizelou Street 17671 Athens, Greece Building: B, Level: 1.

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Beyond defeat and austerity: Disrupting (the critical political economy of) neoliberal Europe

David Bailey1, Mònica Clua-Losada2, Nikolai Huke3, Olatz Ribera-Almandoz4

1University of Birmingham, United Kingdom; 2University of Texas Rio Grande Valley; 3University of Tübingen; 4Universitat Pompeu Fabra

This paper presents the key findings and arguments of a book project co-authored with Monica Clua-Losada, Nikolai Huke and Olatz Ribera-Almandoz. The book seeks to develop what it terms a 'disruption-oriented' approach to the critical political economy (CPE) of European integration. It argues that, whilst CPE accounts have tended to highlight the way in which the EU imposes neoliberal discipline upon European society, we should instead be more aware of the way in which such disciplinary attempts are contested. The book attempts to do this, by highlighting both the role of dissent in explaining the actions of the EU institutions during the lead up to the 2008/2010 global and European crises, and the continued capacity for dissent during the so-called 'age of austerity' that emerged out of those crises (which the EU has (rightly) been criticised for propagating). The discussion focuses on four spheres: work, welfare, education and housing. The paper concludes by making the case for greater attention still to be paid to emerging grassroots opposition and solidarity movements in Europe, as the only viable means by which to fend off the increasingly ominous moves towards nationalist disintegration that currently characterises the European Union.

Toward a Critical Theory of States: The Poulantzas-Miliband Debate After Globalization

Clyde Barrow

University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, United States of America

We have recently lived through a global financial crisis that originated in the United States and, despite the platitudes of an anti-statist free-market neo-liberal ideology, nation-states were deeply involved in resolving this crisis. If “the state” is again a preeminent actor in the global economy, then state theory and the problem of the state should also return to forefront of political theory. However, even if we must return to state theory to understand the post-2007 world, what is to be gained by a return to Poulantzas and Miliband, particularly when they both published their major works on state theory well before globalization became a major topic in the social sciences? While Miliband did not specifically articulate a concept of globalization, he did recognize that the international dimension of class struggle was assuming extraordinary, unprecedented importance in capitalist social formations and this claim is now a basic thesis of the new “non-territorial” concept of imperialism being advanced in state theory today. Similarly, Poulantzas also did not use the term globalization, but he was acutely aware of the “internationalization of capital” and he viewed this change in the geography of capitalism as one that was generating a new form of capitalist state he describes as authoritarian statism. Both Poulantzas and Miliband argued that nation-states were not “retreating,” but internally restructuring their state apparatuses and realigning those apparatuses with the newly dominant fractions of internationalized capital and thus it is necessary to undertake new “Milibandian analyses” of this process of state reconstruction in the various nation-states and simultaneously specify the contours of the new state form.

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