The Debt Crisis in the Eurozone: Social Impacts
During the past four years, the countries of the European periphery – the so-called PIIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain) – have been experiencing an economic-financial crisis that can only be compared to the Great Depression. To solve the crisis, the EU and the IMF instituted bailout programs for the debit countries on conditions of austerity and structural reforms.
In this volume 20 social scientists, using both theoretical and empirical tools, delve into the causes and the social impacts of this crisis. The volume also provides an excellent background for a better comprehension of the dynamics of structural and political changes now taking place within the European Union. The social impacts cover a range of consequences, including poverty, unemployment, anti-migrant attitudes, a decline of welfare and health indicators, post-traumatic stress disorders, national humiliation, political alienation and social protest. The authors analyse the “international” and the “domestic” causes of the crisis, while some of them underline the importance of both factors. In the concluding chapter, the editors undertake a synthesis of the previous chapters, and extract a number of policy recommendations that – if adopted – could transform the current financial crisis into a growth-opportunity for the European Union and its member states.
Born in Vlahokerasia, Arcadia, Greece, Dr Nicholas P. Petropoulos migrated to the United States, where he completed his secondary and higher education – the latter at Ohio State University and the University of Kentucky. His graduate studies focused on social psychology, sociology, cultural anthropology and minority groups – subjects which he taught in Midwestern universities. After his “repatriation”, he worked in the Earthquake Planning and Protection Organization, the Secretariat for Greeks Abroad, and the Pedagogical Institute of Greece as a social researcher and consultant. He has played a leading role in the founding of regional and national research and action groups on disasters, crises and mass emergencies, as well as of the Greek Sociological Association and the Journal of the Hellenic Diaspora. Dr Petropoulos is the author of Return Migration, 1971–1986: Results of the 1985–86 Microcensus, and co-author of Forms of Aggression, Violence and Social Protest in Schools, with A. Papastylianou. He has also authored articles published in the International Journal of Intercultural Relations, the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, the Greek Review of Social Research, and the International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters.
Dr George O. Tsobanoglou was born in Thessalonica, Greece, and completed his secondary education in the US. He studied Sociology and Political Science in Canada, completing his PhD studies at Carleton University. He worked as a researcher at the Institute for Social Research, Oslo, and in the UK, before returning to Greece to work on labour and employment issues. He teaches and directs the “Ergaxia” Work Lab at the Department of Sociology, University of the Aegean. He is the President of the Research Committee on Sociotechnics/Sociological Practice of the International Sociological Association (ISA-RC26). His work focuses on social/institutional governance of labour and welfare issues, as well as social-economy empowerment modalities. He is the author of Divisions of Greece, editor of Women, Livelihoods and Socio-Economic Growth, and the author of the article “Aspects of European socio-economic integration: Labour conditions in Greece”, in the Journal of Knowledge Economy.
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