CfP: Austerity and Anti-Austerity Beyond Capitalism
During the global economic crisis of 2008 many observers predicted that austerity economics would be discredited and abandoned, but over the ensuing decade it demonstrated surprising resilience. In fact, austerity (both the theory and the policy) has long been debunked by scholars and resisted by a variety of social actors, yet it has persisted in the face of these challenges.This conference at the University of Michigan will explore the history of opposition to austerity, both uncovering heretofore overlooked forms of resistance and using those conflicts to better understand the nature of austerity itself. We are convinced that this economic ideology has a deeper and broader history than is commonly recognized. Though typically associated with neoliberalism, austerity has appeared as a central theme within a variety of economic frameworks across time and space. Our working assumption is that austerity should not be seen exclusively as a feature of neoliberalism or late capitalism. Instead, we hope to re-conceptualize this ideology as a more pervasive economic doctrine enacted and challenged at different historical junctures and across different economic and political systems.