Unmasking Austerity: Opposition and Alternatives in Europe and North America, by Dexter Whitfield

Unmasking Austerity: Opposing and Alternatives in Europe and North America exposes the failure and harmful effects of austerity and neoliberal policies. It shows how financial institutions, the International Monetary Fund, European Union, European Central Bank and governments imposed job losses and mass unemployment; wage, pension and welfare benefit cuts; and foreclosures and evictions on the poor and working class, who were forced to bear the brunt of the worst recession in over sixty years.

We now hear claims of ‘growth’ and ‘recovery’ by governments intent on maintaining austerity conditions for the foreseeable future. There is no commitment to restore what has been cut, closed or withdrawn.

Unmasking Austerity demonstrates how austerity policies have fuelled the fire of recession rather than stimulated growth. It examines austerity strategies in Europe and the US and assesses their economic and social effects. It explains why austerity failed and how the neoliberal reconfiguring of public services and the welfare state ran parallel to austerity policies.

Opposing Austerity identifies the key lessons from organising and action against austerity policies and challenges to the neoliberal transformation of public services and welfare states. It raises wider and longer-term issues about the way in which trade unions, community, civil society organisations and social movements mobilise and organise, widen support and build stronger alliances.

Alternatives to Austerity sets out an alternative to austerity through economic stimulus, reconstruction of public services and the welfare state, faster fundamental reform of banks and financial markets, the elimination of corporate welfare and strategies to increase the labour share of national income.

Exposing Causes, Contradictions and Conflicts discusses the deeper causes of the financial crisis and the manufactured crises being used to further dismantle hard-earned labour rights and the welfare state. It examines four of the contradictions and conflicts evident when campaigning for alternative policies to austerity and neoliberalism. The chapter concludes by calling for a radical rethink of trade union, community and social movement organising and action strategies.

Chapters 1-3 were originally published as separate briefings in Australia to widen understanding of the effects of austerity policies and the strategies needed to oppose to them. They have been updated together with the addition of the fourth chapter.

UnmaskingeBookA new book from Dexter Whitfield exposes how austerity policies in Europe and North America have fuelled the fire of recession rather than stimulated growth.

Unmasking Austerity: Opposition and Alternatives in Europe and North Americaidentifies key lessons from anti-austerity campaigns and urges a rethink of trade union, community and social movement strategies to overcome the attacks.

It also examines the deeper causes of the financial crash and shows how some aspects the crisis have been manufactured and used to dismantle hard-earned labour rights and the welfare state.

Whitfield proposes a radical alternative strategy based on economic stimulus, reconstruction of public services, faster fundamental reform of banks and financial markets, the elimination of corporate welfare that enriches big business, and strategies to increase labour’s share of national income.

Unmasking Austerity: Opposition and Alternatives in Europe and North America, by Dexter Whitfield, is published by Spokesman Books, priced £9.99.

An eBook version is available from Spokesman here.

There is also a Kindle version for £10.99.

—-

Dexter Whitfield is Director of the European Services Strategy Unit and Adjunct Associate Professor at the Australian Workplace Innovation and Social Research Centre, University of Adelaide.

The UK Social Policy Association gave Dexter their Award for Outstanding Contribution from a Non-Academic. This award celebrates his work in campaigning, research and advocacy for fairer UK state services over 40 years and, in particular, his defence of welfare services against privatisation and marketisation.

See also these articles by Dexter Whitfield: Mutualise the Private Sector, not England’s NHS’ and Labour’s Illusory Reforms’.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s