Beyond Immaturity and Victimisation: Rethinking the asymmetries of the eurozone crisis

Neil Dooley//International Relations//26th of February//1-2 pm//Arts C133

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Explanations of the origins of the eurozone crisis tend to rely on narratives stressing the ‘immaturity’ of the peripheral European states. These narratives, found in political, media and scholarly discourses, represent states like Ireland, Portugal, and particularly, Greece as to varying degrees profligate, corrupt, and generally lacking the mature, efficacious and responsible political culture necessary for prudent fiscal governance. On the other hand, more critical explanations have focussed on the various processes of ‘victimisation’ that have rendered the peripheral state as incapable of acting efficaciously in the face of external structural constraints. My research is focussed on challenging such narratives that rely on assumptions of ‘immaturity’ and ‘victimisation’, by taking seriously the need to situate peripheral countries’ experiences in a broader political economy framework, and by recognizing the importance of the dynamics of Europeanization in shaping the policy capacity of the crisis-hit states. My lecture will introduce the cases of Ireland and Portugal, in this way. The overall aim of my research is to find a way in which theories of the eurozone crisis can be sensitive to the role of the periphery in its own history, without ‘pathologising’ that role.

Neil began studying for his DPhil in International Relations at Sussex in 2011. He received his MA in International Relations from Queen’s University Belfast, and his BA in History and Politics from University College Dublin. His primary research interest concerns the asymmetry of the European sovereign debt crisis, such that peripheral states have been more severely affected.

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