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Austerity and Anti-Austerity Beyond Capitalism

An Eisenberg Forum
Friday, September 13, 2019
9:30 AM-6:00 PM
Hussey Room Michigan League Map
During the global economic crisis of 2008 many observers predicted that austerity economics would be discredited and abandoned, but over the ensuing decade it demonstrated surprising resilience. This conference will explore the history of opposition to austerity, both retrieving overlooked forms of resistance and using those conflicts to better understand the nature of austerity itself. Over the past decade there has been a wave of path-breaking scholarship revealing the commonalities that linked capitalist and socialist economies across what has been traditionally called First, Second, and Third Worlds. That austerity doctrines themselves can emerge outside the well-studied context of neoliberalism, however, has received limited scholarly attention. We thus seek to create a new foundation to engage austerity more broadly beyond its neoliberal connotations. Our collaborative effort brings together expertise from various fields in the Humanities and Social Sciences and seeks to expand on this burgeoning reappraisal of economic systems. Increasingly, we are coming to realize that capitalism and socialism shared a great many features in these regions—including the foundational assumptions that drive doctrines of austerity. Along these lines, this conference will emphasize how austerity and anti-austerity clashed both within and beyond liberal capitalism, and thus seek to better integrate the temporal and ideological binaries of political economy: pre-industrial and industrial, capitalist and socialist, communist and post-communist, developed and underdeveloped, colonial and post-colonial. In particular, this will involve discussion of how a politics of anti-austerity was both imagined and articulated in opposition to a variety of austerity programs around the world. Forging a conversation across various regions, we will investigate the potential of anti-austerity movements to topple governments, collapse political orders, and to affect other forms of change in society, both in direct and visible ways as well as through protracted and less obvious struggles. This will also incorporate the failed attempts and arrested possibilities to displace austerity as a dominant socioeconomic formation.
Building: Michigan League
Event Type: Conference / Symposium
Tags: Capitalism, Economic Life, Global And Transnational, History, Politics, Social Unrest, Socialism
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Department of History, The College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, Comparative Literature, Department for Afroamerican and African Studies, Rackham Graduate School, Center for European Studies, Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies, Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies, Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies, Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, African Studies Center, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Department of American Culture, U-M Office of Research, Department of Anthropology, Department of English Language and Literature, Department of Political Science, Slavic Languages & Literatures
Upcoming Dates:
Friday, September 13, 2019 9:30 AM-6:00 PM

The Center for European Studies organizes a number of public events each year such as lectures, conferences, and films, many in collaboration with other U-M units. Please use our searchable events calendar for information about upcoming programs sponsored by CES including our signature Conversations on Europe series.

To see all events organized by CES and other affiliates of the Weiser Center for Europe and Eurasia this semester, click the image to the right for a PDF calendar.