Political Engagement and political alternatives in the age of austerity

In a workshop convened by Dr David Bailey and Dr Catherine Durose and co-hosted by the POLSIS European Studies research group and the Institute of Local Government Studies (INLOGOV) scholars drawn from across the European Union met in Birmingham to discuss the impact of the global economic crisis and the subsequent period of austerity on democracy, policy alternatives and inequalities.

Through panels examining political alternatives (Lucia Pradella, University of Venice and Owen Worth, University of Limerick), local democratic governance (Catherine Durose, University of Birmingham, James Duggan, Manchester Metropolitan University, and Janet Newman, Open University), extra/anti-state forms of agency and dissent (David Bailey, University of Birmingham, Nikolai Huke, Philipps-University Marburg, and Juta Kawalerowicz and Michael Biggs, University of Oxford) and political parties (Dan Keith, University of York and Dr Tim Haughton, University of Birmingham), participants explored the way in which patterns of political behaviour and policy outcomes had been in some respects limited in the age of austerity, but also how they had provoked new alternatives.

The presentations and discussions highlighted both the strengths and weaknesses of democracy in Europe and underlined both expected future developments and possible solutions.

The workshop was the third event on the impact of the crisis Dr Bailey has organized in recent times as part of the POLSIS European Studies research group's commitment to explaining the causes and consequences of the economic crisis on Europe’s politics, economics and society.