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Crisis Politics in Europe: why Austerity Is Easier to Implement in Some Countries Than in Others


Walter, Stefanie (2016). Crisis Politics in Europe: why Austerity Is Easier to Implement in Some Countries Than in Others. Comparative Political Studies, 49(7):841-873.

Abstract

When countries face balance-of-payments crises, their policy responses vary widely. This article argues that the choice between the two main options of internal adjustment (i.e., austerity and structural reforms) and external adjustment (i.e., exchange-rate devaluation) depends on how costly each of these strategies is for a country overall. Although the choice of adjustment strategy is thus structurally determined, the level of political conflict associated with crisis management depends on both the national vulnerability profile and partisan interests. Moreover, irrespective of the adjustment strategy, all governments design the specific reforms in ways that shelter their own voters. Empirically, this article uses qualitative case studies and survey data to examine the significant variation in crisis responses, crisis politics, and distributive outcomes of the 2008-2010 global financial crisis in eight Eastern European countries. The article concludes with a discussion of the implications of the Eastern European experience for crisis politics in the Eurozone crisis.

Abstract

When countries face balance-of-payments crises, their policy responses vary widely. This article argues that the choice between the two main options of internal adjustment (i.e., austerity and structural reforms) and external adjustment (i.e., exchange-rate devaluation) depends on how costly each of these strategies is for a country overall. Although the choice of adjustment strategy is thus structurally determined, the level of political conflict associated with crisis management depends on both the national vulnerability profile and partisan interests. Moreover, irrespective of the adjustment strategy, all governments design the specific reforms in ways that shelter their own voters. Empirically, this article uses qualitative case studies and survey data to examine the significant variation in crisis responses, crisis politics, and distributive outcomes of the 2008-2010 global financial crisis in eight Eastern European countries. The article concludes with a discussion of the implications of the Eastern European experience for crisis politics in the Eurozone crisis.

Citations

4 citations in Web of Science®
3 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Political Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:320 Political science
Uncontrolled Keywords:economic policy, political economy, east European politics, politics of growth/development, euro crisis, financial crisis
Language:English
Date:June 2016
Deposited On:07 Jul 2016 12:07
Last Modified:07 Jul 2016 12:07
Publisher:Sage Publications Ltd.
ISSN:0010-4140
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1177/0010414015617967
Official URL:http://cps.sagepub.com/content/49/7/841.full.pdf+html
Related URLs:http://cps.sagepub.com/content/49/7.toc (Publisher)

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