The Eurotower Strikes Back : Crises, Adjustments and Europe’s Austerity Strikes

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The 2008 global financial crisis came with fears — and, for some, hopes — of a new wave of public mobilization in industrialized countries. Large protests were particularly expected in the epicenter of the crisis, the European Union (EU). Yet, the force with which social groups garnered their calls for strikes ebbed quickly away. This article provides new evidence for why this was the case. We claim that strikes, and particularly political strikes, are `bad weather' phenomena and crises exacerbate them. In monetary unions, where currency adjustments are difficult, fiscal changes are not supported by easing monetary measures and should unchain social unrest unless supranational actors get involved. We then argue that the political actions of the European Central Bank (ECB) have countered the potential for strikes in the Eurozone. We provide evidence for our theory with yearly panel data and a new original dataset of monthly strikes between 2001 and 2013. Our analyses support the thesis that the EU institution was successful at attenuating social indignation over the Eurocrisis and its political fallout.

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ISO 690GENOVESE, Federica, Pia WASSMANN, Gerald SCHNEIDER, 2014. The Eurotower Strikes Back : Crises, Adjustments and Europe’s Austerity Strikes
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@unpublished{Genovese2014Eurot-31910,
  year={2014},
  title={The Eurotower Strikes Back : Crises, Adjustments and Europe’s Austerity Strikes},
  url={http://federica-genovese.com/downloads/Crises_Debt_and_Strikes_FGPWGS_15.09.14.pdf},
  author={Genovese, Federica and Wassmann, Pia and Schneider, Gerald}
}
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