Austerity Urbanism: Patterns of Neo-liberalisation and Resistance in Six Cities of Spain and the UK
This paper explores neoliberalisation and its counter-currents through a six-case study of austerity urbanism in Spain and the UK. Applying Urban Regime Theory it highlights the role of urban politics in driving, variegating and containing neoliberalism since the 2008 crash. Variegated austerity regimes contribute to strengthening neoliberalism, but with limits. Welfarism survives austerity in felicitous circumstances. And, where contentious politics thrive, as in Spain, it holds out the potential for a broader challenge to neoliberalism. In contrast, austerity regimes in the UK cities are strongly embedded. The legacies of past struggles, and differing local and regional traditions form an important part of the explanation for patterns of neoliberalisation, hybridization and contestation.
The paper draws on research from two funded projects on austerity governance. It draws mainly from the Spanish TRANSGOB project (The role of Participatory Urban Governance in times of Crisis and Austerity) and also research from our ESRC study of comparative governance under austerity: an eight-case comparative study. Open Access article
Citation : Davies, J. S and Blanco I. (forthcoming 2017) Austerity Urbanism: Patterns of Neo-liberalisation and Resistance in Six Cities of Spain and the UK. Environment and Planning A, 49 (7), pp. 1517-1536
Research Group : Centre for Urban Research on Austerity
Peer Reviewed : Yes