This paper looks at the variegated impact of the 2008 global financial crisis and the different ways in which local strategic actors imagined and responded to it through a comparative study of Barcelona, Brussels, Leeds and Turin. Drawing on cultural political economy, we see crisis moments as fertile territory for the analysis of variegation in urban neoliberalization processes as they can break path dependencies and open up alternatives. Inspired by the comparative turn in critical urban studies, our case studies are not offered as representative samples but as dense sites to explore the various interpretations and uses of the crisis, particularly at the elite level. This analysis suggests considerable variegation in how the crisis was both felt and interpreted locally across the four cities. The local elites did not regard this as a crisis of or in their own urban growth models, but as something external. However, as the global financial crisis morphed into national sovereign debt crises and austerity programmes, the experience in each city has been relatively similar. The paper concludes by emphasizing the continuity function of specific local actors through the processes of meaning-making in which they engage, something that existing work on variegated neoliberalization has so far overlooked.

Locating the global financial crisis: variegated neoliberalization in four European cities

Ugo Rossi
2018

Abstract

This paper looks at the variegated impact of the 2008 global financial crisis and the different ways in which local strategic actors imagined and responded to it through a comparative study of Barcelona, Brussels, Leeds and Turin. Drawing on cultural political economy, we see crisis moments as fertile territory for the analysis of variegation in urban neoliberalization processes as they can break path dependencies and open up alternatives. Inspired by the comparative turn in critical urban studies, our case studies are not offered as representative samples but as dense sites to explore the various interpretations and uses of the crisis, particularly at the elite level. This analysis suggests considerable variegation in how the crisis was both felt and interpreted locally across the four cities. The local elites did not regard this as a crisis of or in their own urban growth models, but as something external. However, as the global financial crisis morphed into national sovereign debt crises and austerity programmes, the experience in each city has been relatively similar. The paper concludes by emphasizing the continuity function of specific local actors through the processes of meaning-making in which they engage, something that existing work on variegated neoliberalization has so far overlooked.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12571/546
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