Challenging the age of austerity: disruptive agency after the global economic crisis

David Bailey, Monica Clua Losada, Nikolai Huke, Olatz Ribera Almandoz , Kelly Rogers

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21 Citations (Scopus)
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This article explores the different forms of disruptive subjectivity that have developed in the context of the post-2008 global and European crises. The article traces developments both before and after 2008, with a specific focus on events in Spain and the UK. These country contexts are chosen due to their considerable differences in terms of the impact that the crisis had; yet we witness notable similarities with regard to the instances of refusal and resistance observed, especially in terms of the motives held and forms adopted, albeit with differences in scale. The paper presents the results of qualitative research, including 65 in-depth interviews, to highlight the way in which disaffection, the search for voice, and the threat of withdrawal from relations of exploitation, have each become problematic as means of dissent following 2008. As a result, we have seen a merging of these more conventional forms of dissent with a number of more radical prefigurative practices that had been developing prior to 2008. As a result, the stagnation of neoliberal capitalism from 2008 onwards has witnessed the development of a new form of pragmatic prefigurative disruptive subjectivity, responsible for some of the more important and interesting political developments in contemporary advanced industrial democracies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-31
JournalComparative European Politics
Early online date17 Oct 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018


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