The financial malaise that has affected the Eurozone countries of southern Europe – Spain, Portugal, Italy and, in its most extreme case, Greece – has been analysed using mainly macroeconomic and financial explanations.
This book shifts the emphasis from macroeconomics to the relationship between uneven geographical development, financialisation and politics. It deconstructs the myth that debt, both public and private, in Southern Europe is the sole outcome of the spendthrift ways of Greece, Spain, Italy and Portugal, offering a fresh perspective on the material, social and ideological parameters of the economic crisis and the spaces where it unfolded.
Featuring a range of case examples that complement and expand the main discussion, Crisis Spaces will appeal to students and scholars of human geography, economics, regional development, political science, cultural studies and social movements studies.
Table of Contents
2. Uneven development I: Capital restructuring and changes in the spatial division of labour before the euro
3. Uneven development II: capitalist transformation and the building of the Eurozone
4. "It is your fault": imagining and constructing the new "Southern Question"
5. De-politicizing uneven development and socio-spatial justice
6. "Nobody alone in the crisis": struggles and solidarity
7. Politics of Hope or the time of Monsters?
Costis Hadjimichalis is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Geography at Harokopio University of Athens, Greece. He previously held a post in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, and has been a visiting professor at different universities in Europe, the USA and Australia. His current research and publications concern uneven geographical development, local and regional development, radical geography and landscape analysis. He has been the section editor of the Regional Development section in the International Encyclopaedia of Human Geography. Among his recent books are Space in Left Thought (co-author Dina Vaiou, 2012 in Greek), Debt Crisis and Land Dispossession (2014 in Greek, 2016 in German) and Geographical Issues Suited to Non-Geographers (2016 in Greek).
"Although the argumentation is grounded in critical political economy, the author goes beyond the macro-focus. By adopting a consequent crossscalar approach, he discusses recent SE processes of dispossession, socio-spatial polarisation and marginalisation relationally in the context of global finance, European division of labour and power relations, national institutional practices, regional economic restructuring and households’ changing position. Moreover, the book enriches the uneven development debates by analysing the construction of the ‘South Question’ in European public discourses from a critical-and-South-European perspective. It highlights the ways the spatial narratives of the crisis were (and still are being) created, embedded in a historical and partial explanations of the meltdown, and employed to justify the highly unequal spread of the consequences of the crisis." - Erika Nagy, Hungarian Geographical Bulletin
" In sum, the book is a very important and long overdue contribution to the field of Economic Geography, which needs to recover its capacity to analyse how sub-national inequalities intersect with national and international socio-economic dynamics. This means, among other things, reinserting notions of political economy into its core theoretical frameworks. It also means having research agendas that can respond to economic conditions as they are experienced in real life, rather than chasing after agendas defined by policy makers or other interest groups."
- Pedro Marques, Journal of Economic Geography
"This is quite a remarkable book, a product of years of careful and original research with a rare political and theoretical sophistication. I find it difficult to imagine anyone else being able to do this."
- Ray Hudson, University of Durham, UK
"This excellent book continues the author’s critical engagement with the socio-spatial dynamic of uneven regional development that pays due regard to political and ideological as well as technological and economic factors and gives due weight to issues of agency as well as structural and conjunctural influences."
- Bob Jessop, University of Lancaster, UK
"Crisis Spaces constitutes not only a much-needed synthesis of the impact of the crisis in Southern Europe, but also a discursive contribution to the development of incipient transregional solidarity networks."
- Álvaro Sevilla-Buitrago, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain
"Hadjimichalis’s book is a powerful and engaged discussion of the recent crisis in the southern European countries and provides a rigorous assessment of academic work in economic geography and regional development studies."
- Mário Vale, University of Lisbon, Portugal
"A book written with passion, theoretically and empirically rich, an author who feels personally insulted by EU and domestic policies. A must read by all those who are critical about the social and geographical consequences of neoliberalism and austerity in Europe and beyond."
- Lois Labrianidis, University of Macedonia, Greece