Austerity policies in the EU are often presented as having no alternative. Many leftists, on the other hand, hope for a better life from Keynesianism. Jungle World spoke with me about the euro crisis, austerity, and Keynesianism. My study »Austerity as a Political Project« was published this Summer.
JW: What do you mean by “austerity as a political project”?
IS: The title refers to contemporary developments in the eurozone. I raised the question as to how the financial policy model of the balanced budget could be europeanized with the creation of the euro. Ultimately, such policies don’t just fall from the sky, nor can they simply be derived from the dynamic of accumulation. A political project integrates disparate social and political forces that do not necessarily consciously follow the same goal. But within a specific historical constellation, their activity converges upon a common result. That was the case with the euro and the model of the balanced budget. Since then, Canada also wants to legally codify this principle, and US President Obama, after the budget conflict, called on the Republicans to make common cause with him, despite all their differences, in order to present a balanced budget.
Translated from the German by Alexander Locascio. Thanks a lot!