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May 16 Amsterdam: “Shock Doctrine” Revisited: The Authoritarian Guise of the European Union in the Crisis

“Shock Doctrine” Revisited: The Authoritarian Guise of the European Union in the Crisis

REAL WORLD ECONOMICS Friday, 16 MAY 2014, 20.30 to 22.30 hours Plantage Doklaan 8-12 in Amsterdam

From 19.00 hours onwards, there will be great vegan food cooked by the ‘Kollektief Rampenplan’ and books for sale from Boekhandel Rooie Rat

3 min leestijd

After almost seven years of global economic crisis, the crisis’ disruptive impact continues to aggravate, particularly in Southern Europe where unemployment rates, most notably among the young, have reached unprecedented levels, while real wages continue to decline and poverty is reaching perverse heights. The prospects continue to remain gloomy and the perma-austerity imposed by the EU only seems to exacerbate the crisis further. German Chancellor Merkel’s recent suggestions for a ‘Competitiveness Pact’ demands that the entire Eurozone has to step up reforms efforts “in areas of lacking competitiveness” – EU-speak for internal devaluation through wage repression and further labour market reforms.

During this Real World Economics evening, we will reveal the authoritarian guise of the EU’s responses to the crisis. While the ‘wealthy few’ are blessed with tax reductions and bailouts, the ‘working many’ have to bear the costs for the sake of competitiveness. The assault on democracy and the coercive nature in which crisis packages are imposed very much resemble a shock doctrine. Decision-making is insulated from institutions of political democracy, while ever more discretionary powers are transferred to non-accountable executive or jurisdictional bodies, such as the European Commission or the European Court of Justice. At the same time, the constitutional right of expressive protests is increasingly denied and surveillance and police violence vis-a-vis protesters intensified. How can the EU’s onslaught on democratic rights be resisted?

We will start out with brief (5 minute) presentations by a range of renowned international critical political economists, followed by a plenary discussion with the audience. Invited guest speakers are: Bob Jesssop (Lancaster University, UK), Monica Clua Llosada (Pompeu Fabra, Spain), Eva Hartmann (Copenhagen Business School), Magnus Ryner (Kings College London, UK), Lukas Oberndorfer (University of Vienna, Austria), Ian Bruff (University of Manchester, UK), Thomas Sablowski (Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, Berlin), Alan Cafruny (Hamilton College, USA).

This Real World Economics event forms part of the Europe-wide decentralized days of action and resistance called ‘Solidarity Beyond Borders – Building Democracy From Below!’ in the week of 15 to 25 May 2014 (go to

The evening is supported by an alliance of organisations and groups in the Netherlands: De Valreep, Kritische Studenten Utrecht (KSU), International Institute for Research and Education (IIRE), Transnational Institute (TNI), XminY, REINFORM, De Rooie Rat, Blockupy Netherlands, Bond Precaire Woonvormen, Ander Europa, Grenzeloos,, Stichting Onderzoek Multinationale Ondernemingen (SOMO), Kollektiv Rampenplan, Kritische Studenten Amsterdam (KSA).

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Language: English No entry fees!