Table of Contents

The Great Financial Meltdown

The Great Financial Meltdown

Systemic, Conjunctural or Policy Created?

New Directions in Modern Economics series

Edited by Turan Subasat

The Great Financial Meltdown reviews, advocates and critiques the systemic, conjunctural and policy-based explanations for the 2008 crisis. The book expertly examines these explanations to assess their analytical and empirical validity. Comprehensive yet accessible chapters, written by a collection of prominent authors, cover a wide range of political economy approaches to the crisis, from Marxian through to Post Keynesian and other heterodox schools.

Chapter 18: Greece, global fault-lines and the disintegrative logics of Germany’s primacy in Europe

Vassilis K. Fouskas

Subjects: economics and finance, financial economics and regulation, radical and feminist economics


Post-Keynesian, heterodox and Marxist political economists have rightly argued that the eurozone crisis is not a fiscal crisis but a balance of payments crisis, mainly caused by the pivotal position of Germany in the European Monetary Union (EMU) and its neo-mercantilist model of growth (low wage, low inflation and export-led). This view, however, sees the split between core and periphery in the European Union as something created with the introduction of the EMU in 1999. This chapter contends that this is not the case. By putting forth a global fault-lines historical perspective and focusing on the case of Greece, it is argued that the problem is not the introduction of the EMU but the geopolitical and macroeconomic asymmetries between core and periphery in Europe since the inception of what vaguely – and even inaccurately – can be defined as ‘European modernity’. Global fault-lines offer a macro-historical and macroeconomic understanding of crises seen as structural events generated by the evolving and contradictory tendencies of capitalism as a world system. It is not just a political economy perspective but a perspective that encompasses many instances of the social, especially geopolitical and geocultural structures.

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