Zeitschrift für Politik, Discourses, Economics and Politics, Special Issue 8: Austerity: A Journey to an Unknown Territory, pp 29-49
This chapter applies cultural political economy to analyse crisis dynamics in selected economies in the North Atlantic region. It links this analysis to regulation- and state-theoretical arguments about kinds of austerity and their economic and political roots and repercussions. I distinguish austerity policies, the politics of austerity, and the austerity state. Each has its own conjunctural origins, dynamic, and effects in different periods, its specific implications for the relations between economics and politics, and different impacts depending on the place of the relevant economic spaces in the world market and inner-state system. After presenting some preliminary remarks on the overall approach and the fisco-financial dimension of the modern state. I comment briefly on austerity policies in the “golden age” of Atlantic Fordism. I then discuss varieties of neoliberalism and their implications for the politics of austerity and emergence of an enduring austerity state. These ideas are explored in two kinds of post-Fordist economy, namely, neoliberal finance-dominated accumulation regimes and a eurozone economic space shaped by the overall dominance and interests of neomercantilist, profit-producing German capital.