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EU governance in crisis: a cultural political economy perspective on European crisis management 2007-2014

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  • Mathis Heinrich
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>11/2015
<mark>Journal</mark>Comparative European Politics
Issue number6
Number of pages25
Pages (from-to)682-706
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date1/06/15
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The article investigates the character of economic and financial crisis management dynamics in the European Union (EU) between 2007 and 2014. In particular, it explores the main actors and imaginaries structuring European governance processes in reaction to the North Atlantic financial crisis. First, a Cultural Political Economy perspective on power and discourse is developed by drawing on concepts from Neo-Gramscian International Political Economy and Critical Discourse Analysis. Second, concrete EU policy reactions to the crisis are distinguished into three main policy fields of crisis management, with each being examined in terms of the dominant economic forces, policy discourses and political actors that shape them. The article shows that pre-crisis modes of accumulation and regulation of the European economy have been broadly maintained and even sharpened by the crises in Europe. This consolidated reproduction is especially fostered by the evolutionary interplay of dominant transnational social forces from European export- and finance-oriented industries as well as of the established economic imaginary of competitiveness on the EU level. As such, the article argues for a rediscovery of transnational dynamics in European studies of the crisis as these dynamics play a crucial role in coordinating spatial, temporal and institutional varieties in European reactions to the crisis.