The European Periphery and the Eurozone Crisis: Capitalist Diversity and Europeanisation, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The European Periphery and the Eurozone Crisis

Capitalist Diversity and Europeanisation, 1st Edition

By Neil Dooley


154 pages | 23 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2018-11-14
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This book provides a new understanding of the eurozone crisis across three of the worst hit cases: Greece, Portugal, and Ireland.

In contrast to accounts which stress the ‘immaturity’ of the European ‘periphery’, as well as more critical narratives that understand these countries as victims of German and core ‘economic domination’, this book recognises that individual peripheral countries have followed dramatically different paths to crisis, making it difficult to speak of the eurozone crisis as a single phenomenon. Bringing literature from Comparative Political Economy into dialogue with scholarship on Europeanisation, this book contributes the concept of ‘divergence via Europeanisation’. It explores the much-overlooked ways in which the negotiation of a ‘one size fits all’ project of European financial integration has been generative of precarious patterns of economic growth across Greece, Portugal, and Ireland. The book shows that far from their failure or inability to do so, it has been the European periphery’s attempt to ‘follow the rules’ of European integration that explains their current difficulties.

This novel understanding of the eurozone crisis should appeal to students and scholars in International Political Economy, European and European Union Studies, Comparative Political Economy, Irish Politics, Greek Politics, and Portuguese Politics.


"This is an important book not just because it provides an original and convincing account for the way the Eurozone crisis played out across three different countries, but also because it combines insights from across comparative political economy and EU studies to produce a sophisticated conceptualization of how states and societies are shaped by European integration." - Rebecca Adler-Nissen, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

"Dooley’s book brilliantly addresses flaws in major arguments on the origins of the Euro-crisis. Rather than sorting countries into groups, Dooley recognizes the unique features of countries within the Euro-zone periphery that made them susceptible to the crisis in different ways; this susceptibility was driven, ironically, by their success in adopting EU banking reforms before and after the launch of the Euro. While the European project has promoted convergence, Dooley aptly identifies that Europeanization has led to a divergence in stable and sustainable financial development between the E(M)U’s member-states, an outcome that has yielded dangerous consequences." - Alison Johnston, Associate Professor, Oregon State University, USA.

"Neil Dooley's book demonstrates impressively the strengths of a nuanced approach to the study of the European political economy, interweaving themes of diversity and commonality via a discussion of the asymmetric impact of the Eurozone crisis. This is of particular importance for current debates about 'core' and 'periphery' but also European capitalism more generally. Therefore, the book is of strong relevance for literatures on 'peripheral' Europe, the multiple developmental trajectories that constitute European capitalism, and EU crisis management failures." - Dr. Ian Bruff, Lecturer in European Politics, University of Manchester.

"This is an excellent book, which adds much needed nuance to the intricacies of what became known as the European "sovereign debt crisis." Dooley persuasively argues that Europe’s periphery suffered disproportionately from the crisis, not due to their own immaturity or German economic domination, but because their political economies were ill adapted to follow the EU rules in the first place. Anyone wanting a deeper understanding of the Eurozone’s predicament will greatly benefit from reading this book." - Matthias Matthijs, Johns Hopkins University

Table of Contents

1 Introduction: the asymmetry of the eurozone crisis

Europeanisation, capitalist diversity, and the asymmetry of the eurozone crisis

Chapter overview

2 Beyond the ‘Lazy PIIGS’ and the German ‘Big Bad Wolf’

Official narratives of ‘immaturity’ in the European periphery

Germany, the core, and ‘beggar-thy-neighbour’ narratives


3 Comparative Political Economy and Europeanisation

Institutional stickiness and the limits to export-led growth in the European periphery

Institutional transformation: Divergence via Europeanisation

Research framework


4 Greece

Contesting the ‘exceptionalism’ of the Greek crisis

The Greek fiscal crisis: limits to export-led growth at Europe’s periphery

Greece adapts to Europe: debt-led growth via Europeanisation


5 Portugal

Portugal: an exceptional case?

Portugal’s competitiveness crisis: limits to export-led growth at Europe’s periphery

Portugal adapts to Europe: debt-led growth via Europeanisation


6 Ireland

The Irish boom and bust: contesting the link between export and debt-led growth

The Celtic Tiger: vulnerable export-led growth at Europe’s periphery

Ireland adapts to Europe: debt-led growth via Europeanisation


7 Conclusion: divergence via Europeanisation

Explaining the asymmetry of the eurozone crisis

Divergence via Europeanisation

Rethinking the eurozone crisis

About the Author


Neil Dooley is a Lecturer in Politics at the University of Sussex. His articles appear in New Political Economy, Millennium: Journal of International Studies and Third World Thematics: A TWQ Journal. Neil has written for The Washington Post, The Conversation, and Le Monde Diplomatique.

About the Series

RIPE Series in Global Political Economy

For almost two decades now, the RIPE Series published by Routledge has been an essential forum for cutting-edge scholarship in International Political Economy. The series brings together new and established scholars working in critical, cultural and constructivist political economy. Books in the RIPE Series typically combine an innovative contribution to theoretical debates with rigorous empirical analysis.

The RIPE Series seeks to cultivate:

  • Field-defining theoretical advances in International Political Economy
  • Novel treatments of key issue areas, both historical and contemporary, such as global finance, trade, and production
  • Analyses that explore the political economic dimensions of relatively neglected topics, such as the environment, gender relations, and migration
  • Accessible work that will inspire advanced undergraduates and graduate students in International Political Economy.

James Brassett – Warwick

Eleni Tsingou – Copenhagen Business School

Susanne Soederberg – Queen’s

Learn more…

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