The erosion of southern Europe’s middle-classes: debt, insecurity and the political economy of austerity

Author/s Theo Papadopoulos, Antonios Roumpakis
Publishing Year 2017 Issue 2017/2 Language English
Pages 23 P. 67-89 File size 291 KB
DOI 10.3280/SP2017-002005
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Our article examines the position of middle-classes in the social reproduction of southern European (SE) political economies in light of the sovereign debt crisis. The first part analyzes the rise of SE middle-classes in the 1980s and 1990s. The second part discusses the transformation of SE political economies after their entry in the European Monetary Union. The third part explores how the austerity measures adopted as a response to the sovereign debt crisis contributed to the further undermining of SE middleclasses’ income and employment security. We discuss how the new European economic governance challenges the politico-economic foundations of SE political economies by transforming them into de-facto "consolidation states" (Streeck 2013).

Keywords: Middle-class; Austerity; Debt; Insecurity; South Europe

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Theo Papadopoulos, Antonios Roumpakis, The erosion of southern Europe’s middle-classes: debt, insecurity and the political economy of austerity in "SOCIOLOGIA E POLITICHE SOCIALI" 2/2017, pp 67-89, DOI: 10.3280/SP2017-002005