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Rebecca Bramall – 1st expert on this subject based on the ideXlab platform

  • On Being ‘Inside’ Austerity: Austerity Chic, Consumer Culture, and Anti-Austerity Protest
    The Cultural Politics of Austerity, 2020
    Co-Authors: Rebecca Bramall


    On Friday, 24 April 2009, official figures from the Office of National Statistics revealed that the British economy had shrunk ‘at the fastest rate in 30 years’ in the first three months of that year (Kollewe, 2009). The figures were seen as throwing into question Labour Chancellor Alistair Darling’s more optimistic budget forecast, issued just a few days previously. That evening, the lead story on Newsnight (a current affairs programme) was the inevitability of ‘very substantial cuts in public spending’. ‘How will our lives change to cope with this new age of Austerity?’, the programme asked. This was by no means the first time the phrase ‘age of Austerity’ had been used to describe the new era of spending cuts, but it is a useful and representative instance to recall, because many of the themes and tropes with which we have become familiar were present in that edition of Newsnight, including the use of historical analogy. As Kirsty Wark explained in her introduction to the programme’s studio debate: ‘[t]his is the era of the new Austerity, harking back to the post-war age of Austerity when shortages and restrictions meant people had no choice but to “make do and mend”’. As if to underline the credibility of this comparison, David Kynaston, historian and author of a book about Austerity Britain 1945–51 (2008a), joined Wark to discuss how people would ‘cope’ with the coming crisis, along with television presenter Kirstie Allsopp.1

  • Afterword: Austerity and After
    The Cultural Politics of Austerity, 2020
    Co-Authors: Rebecca Bramall


    This book represents an attempt to develop a conjunctural analysis of ‘Austerity’, focusing on the ways in which the past – the historical era of ‘Austerity Britain’ – has been put to work in the present. I have sought to offer an alternative to the ‘for’ and ‘against’ paradigm of Austerity by drawing attention to the diverse ways in which social actors have made use of concepts of Austerity, and in which audiences and consumers have responded to these mobilizations. At the same time, this conjuncture has served as a case study for the elaboration of a series of arguments about ‘left’ (green, red, and feminist) political uses of the past, and the assumptions about history that adhere in theoretical reflection on these political movements. In this afterword I want to sum up the conclusions I have drawn in relation to these two objectives, before turning to two themes I have yet to address adequately. These themes relate to the discursivity of Austerity, and to its periodization: what comes ‘after’ Austerity?

  • Austerity Pasts, Austerity Futures?
    Transitioning to a Post-Carbon Society, 2016
    Co-Authors: Rebecca Bramall


    What are the conditions under which the meaning of the signifier “Austerity” might be reworked for environmental ends? Could the concept of “Austerity” describe a mode of living that is compatible with the challenges of working towards transition and degrowth? This chapter considers what can be learnt from the UK context, in which social actors in environmental and transition politics have—since the early 2000s—elaborated a concept of “eco-Austerity”. This has been achieved via the mobilization of a particular historical period as symbolic resource: the period 1939–1954, an era widely known as “Austerity Britain”. Through an evaluation of this activity, the chapter identifies the significant challenges presented by a project of recasting the meaning of the signifier “Austerity”, as well as the possibilities for alternative future-making that may yet be associated with this concept.

Fran Tonkiss – 2nd expert on this subject based on the ideXlab platform

  • Austerity urbanism and the makeshift city
    City, 2013
    Co-Authors: Fran Tonkiss


    This paper engages with a recent set of critical arguments concerning the ‘post-crisis city’ and the political economy of ‘Austerity urbanism’. The focus of the discussion is on practical interventions in the vacant and disused spaces of recessionary cities, and in particular on temporary designs and provisional uses. In this way, it opens a further line of argument about urbanism under conditions of Austerity, alongside analyses of the formal politics of Austerity or the possibilities of urban activism in these settings. Its concern is with forms of urban intervention that re-work orthodoxies of urban development as usual: in particular the timescales that inform conventional development models; the understandings of use around which sites are planned and designed; and the ways in which value is realized through the production of urban spaces. The argument centres on European contexts of Austerity urbanism, drawing on critical examples of urban design and occupation in the region’s largest economies. Such urban strategies are concerned with a politics and a practice of small incursions in material spaces that seek to create a kind of ‘durability through the temporary’.

Martin Mckee – 3rd expert on this subject based on the ideXlab platform

  • Austerity and the rise of the Nazi party
    National Bureau of Economic Research, 2017
    Co-Authors: Gregori Galofré-vilà, Martin Mckee, Christopher M. Meissner, David Stuckler


    The current historical consensus on the economic causes of the inexorable Nazi electoral success between 1930 and 1933 suggests this was largely related to the Treaty of Versailles and the Great Depression. Alternatively, it has been speculated that contractionary fiscal Austerity measures contributed to votes for the Nazi party. Voting data from 1,024 districts and 98 cities shows that Chancellor Bruning’s Austerity measures (spending cuts and tax increases) were positively associated with increasing vote shares for the Nazi party. We also find that the suffering due to Austerity (measured by mortality rates) radicalized the German electorate. Our findings are robust to a range of specifications including an instrumental variable strategy and a border-pair policy discontinuity design.

  • Austerity and health the impact in the uk and europe
    European Journal of Public Health, 2017
    Co-Authors: David Stuckler, Marina Karanikolos, Aaron Reeves, Rachel Loopstra, Martin Mckee


    Austerity measures-reducing social spending and increasing taxation-hurts deprived groups the most. Less is known about the impact on health. In this short review, we evaluate the evidence of Austerity‘s impact on health, through two main mechanisms: a ‘social risk effect’ of increasing unemployment, poverty, homelessness and other socio-economic risk factors (indirect), and a ‘healthcare effect’ through cuts to healthcare services, as well as reductions in health coverage and restricting access to care (direct). We distinguish those impacts of economic crises from those of Austerity as a response to it. Where possible, data from across Europe will be drawn upon, as well as more extensive analysis of the UK’s Austerity measures performed by the authors of this review.

  • the effects of the financial crisis and Austerity measures on the spanish health care system a qualitative analysis of health professionals perceptions in the region of valencia
    Health Policy, 2015
    Co-Authors: Francisco Cerveroliceras, Martin Mckee, Helena Legidoquigley


    The recent financial crisis has seen severe Austerity measures imposed on the Spanish health care system. However, the impacts are not yet well documented. We describe the findings from a qualitative study that explored health care professionals’ perception of the effects of Austerity measures in the Spanish Autonomous Community of Valencia. A total of 21 semi-structured interviews were conducted with health professionals, recorded and fully transcribed. We coded all interviews using an inductive approach, drawing on techniques used in the constant comparative method. Health professionals reported increases in mental health conditions and malnutrition linked to a loss of income from employment and cuts to social support services. Health care professionals perceived that the quality of health care had become worse and health outcomes had deteriorated as a result of Austerity measures. Interviewees also suggested that increased copayments meant that a growing number of patients could not afford necessary medication. While a few supported reforms and policies, such as the increase in copayments for pharmaceuticals, most opposed the privatization of health care facilities, and the newly introduced Royal Decree-law 16/2012, particularly the exclusion of non-residents from the health care system. The prevailing perception is that Austerity measures are having negative effects on the quality of the health care system and population health. In light of this evidence there is an urgent need to evaluate the Austerity measures recently introduced and to consider alternatives such as the derogation of the Royal Decree-law 16/2012.