Routledge has just published a collective volume edited by Vassilis Fouskas and Constantine Dimoulas.
The book is titled ‘Greece in the 21st Century: The Politics and Economics of a Crisis’
I have contributed a chapter titled ‘Competing Explanations and Strategies for the Greek Crisis and the Question of the Productive Model’
The outline of my chapter is the following.
The Greek crisis that erupted in 2009 is part of the 2007-8 global capitalist crisis. The latter is the first major crisis of the 21st century and, because of its structural nature, it has long-term repercussions. Its structural nature is expressed in the feeble recovery after the crisis, the ‘double dip’ that followed and the fears for a future return of the recession. Another crucial repercussion is the eruption of several regional crises of which the crisis of the Eurozone (with Greece at its centre) is the most significant.
The Greek crisis was expressed as a debt crisis (that is a disequilibrium in the sphere of circulation) although, as this paper will argue, its causes are deeper and lay in the sphere of production. In any case, and irrespective of different explanations, it is nowadays unquestionable that this crisis goes hand in hand with destructive processes in the sphere of production. It is evident that the current Greek productive model – with the shrinkage of the primary sector, the growing deindustrialization and the bubble of services – has failed and it is not sustainable. Thus, all competing strategies for surpassing the crisis have offered proposals about restructuring the Greek production model. Notwithstanding, these proposals differ widely as they represent different understandings of the Greek crisis and they reflect different socio-economic interests. In each of these strategies productive restructuring holds a different role. For example, those explanations that consider the Greek case simply as a debt crisis, that is a crisis in the sphere of circulation alone that only subsequently affected the sphere of production, attribute to productive restructuring a secondary role behind the primary role of securing debt viability. They, more or less, purport that if the latter is solved then productive restructuring would follow suit. On the contrary, if the causes of the crisis are posited in the sphere of production, as Marxist approaches that focus on the tendency of the rate of profit to fall maintain, then productive restructuring assumes the primary role.
The next section presents the main competing explanations of the Greek crisis and how they confront the problem of the productive model. The third section analyses the strategies that emanate from them the strategies and what role has productive restructuring within them. Its last sub-section acts as conclusions by proposing a strategy of disengagement from the EU.
The table of contents of the volume is the following:
Table of Contents
Introduction and Acknowledgments – What’s in the Greek Cauldron?
Vassilis K. Fouskas and Constantine Dimoulas
1 Eurozone Authoritarianism and the Neoliberal Project in Greece and Southern Europe
Kees van der Pijl
2 Sovereign Debt or Balance of Payments Crisis? Exploring the Structural Logic of Adjustment in the Eurozone
3 Greece and the Crisis of the Eurozone: A Structural Analysis
Leila Simona Talani
4 Is There Really a Eurozone Crisis?
5 Competing Explanations and Strategies for the Greek Crisis and the Question of the Productive Model
6 Internal Devaluation and Hegemonic Crisis (2010-16)
7 The ‘Politics of Fulfilment’ as a Preliminary for the Making of a Precarious State in Greece
8 The Political Effects of the Greek Economic Crisis: The Collapse of the Old Two-Party System
9 Blaming the Other: An Inquiry into the Cultural and Political Preconditions of the Greek Crisis