New Democracy’s criminal indifference
By the end of 2003, Greece’s international standing had risen drastically
compared with the preceding decade and the efforts made to actively participate in European developments had gained international recognition. Greece
was a member of the EMU and the introduction of the euro had been accomplished without difficulty. The Greek presidency of 2003 had succeeded in
maintaining European unity over the Iraq crisis. The completion of negotiations over the accession of new states – including Cyprus – into the Union, as
In this chapter, we argue that
it is necessary to reclaim economics as everyday democracy and we
set out steps to achieve this goal. The aim is to build the
democratic institutions, skills and practices that are necessary to
enable everyone to participate in decisions about how the economy
they live in is organised.
This must be accompanied by
In this chapter, we argue that
economics has not done enough to prioritise democracy or
self-determination in economic development.
This builds on our argument in the last chapter , that globalisation has
for many countries prescribed a single predetermined pathway from
‘poor’ to ‘developed’, rather than
supporting countries to chart their own
One hundred years ago the idea of ‘the economy’ didn’t exist. Now, improving ‘the economy’ has come to be seen as one of the most important tasks facing modern societies. Politics and policymaking are increasingly conducted in the language of economics and economic logic increasingly frames how political problems are defined and addressed. The result is that crucial societal functions are outsourced to economic experts. The econocracy is about how this particular way of thinking about economies and economics has come to dominate many modern societies and its damaging consequences. We have put experts in charge but those experts are not fit for purpose. A growing movement is arguing that we should redefine the relationship between society and economics. Across the world, students, the economists of the future, are rebelling against their education. From three members of this movement comes a book that tries to open up the black box of economic decision making to public scrutiny. We show how a particular form of economics has come to dominate in universities across the UK and has thus shaped our understanding of the economy. We document the weaknesses of this form of economics and how it has failed to address many important issues such as financial stability, environmental sustainability and inequality; and we set out a vision for how we can bring economic discussion and decision making back into the public sphere to ensure the societies of the future can flourish.
The election of 6 May: euro or drachma?
The results of the Greek parliamentary elections on 6 May provoked surprise,
both nationally and across Europe.1 What had been a comfortable government
majority for PASOK and New Democracy crumbled, with the two parties
barely securing a third of the vote between them (32.15%). The parties fiercely
critical of the Memorandum and the policy of austerity that accompanied it
secured a staggeringly large share of the vote (approximately 41%).
The vote was an unprecedented rejection the political status quo and the
Nationalist thrift: making do, rationing
and nostalgic austerity
‘Make do and mend’: thrift in the name of democracy
So far, this book has tackled the religious thrift of the Puritans with its
Providentialist and later more pragmatic concerns, the strict moral thrift of the
Victorians with its grounding in individualism and social righteousness, and
the spiritual individualism and communal vision of Thoreau. This chapter will
explore examples of thrift quintessentially different from those witnessed so far,
due to their emphasis on social solidarity based
few have access to.
This reality makes econocracy incompatible with one of our greatest
political traditions, liberal democracy.
The idea of liberal democracy is the intellectual cornerstone of
British parliamentary politics and of many other administrations
across the world. There are competing views of liberal democracy
and the role of the citizen within it but there remain some undeniable
core features. Liberal democracy aims to provide a way for societies to make collective decisions while still protecting the rights of
individuals. The electorate votes for
The book examines the European debt crisis with particular reference to the case of Greece. It investigates its spillover from a Greek-specific problem to a Eurozone-wide crisis and chronicles the policy responses to combat it. The central argument of the book is that the principal cause of the Eurozone’s problems was, and still remains, the indecisiveness of European elites to tackle its underlying deficiencies. Leading Eurozone countries have been unwilling to commit to a common long-term plan which could deal convincingly with complex and inter-related problems affecting both its ‘core’ and its ‘periphery’. The guiding principle of policy responses thus far has been the pursuit of permanent fiscal discipline. Yet, fiscal discipline alone would not provide the long-term solutions required; a steady course towards economic governance and political unification is necessary. Through the detailed tracing of the evolution of the crisis, the book provides valuable insights into the crucial interconnection between Greece’s own economic troubles and the wider European search for macroeconomic stability and sustainable economic growth. As such, the book appeals well beyond those with a narrow academic interest in Greece. This is very much a discussion about the future of the Eurozone and the European Union as a whole.
Ariane Agunsoye, Michelle Groenewald, Danielle Guizzo, and Kamal Ramburuth-Hurt
address the distribution of resources and power. Part of
decolonising is to develop theories and policies which effectively
and legitimately reset the distribution of resources, to reduce
structural inequalities, which have been created and reproduced as a
result of historical oppression.
A democratised economics would put the principles of
democracy and self-determination at the
Ariane Agunsoye, Michelle Groenewald, Danielle Guizzo, and Bruno Roberts- Dear
as a discipline
to be able to claim legitimately that it represents society and the
public interest. It must be more diverse and representative to claim
to be able to understand the economic experience of different social
groups. More broadly, a diverse and inclusive discipline of
economics fosters greater social mobility and trust in experts,
which in turn underpin democracy