Age of Austerity Workshop

Europa Institute Conference

The Age of Austerity: A New Challenge for State Powers

Wednesday 30 March 2016
The University of Edinburgh · David Hume Tower – Room LG.09

Organiser: Dr Dimitrios Kagiaros

Workshop Theme

This workshop examined how the powers of the state are affected where austerity measures are prescribed to national governments by supranational organisations, and where austerity measures are imposed by central governments to devolved or federal administrations in composite systems.

In the context of national governments, what is the impact of externally imposed austerity on national and popular sovereignty? Has austerity expanded the field of application of executive instruments (decrees, delegated legislation, administrative instruments) and what role remains for the legislature and the judiciary? How is the executive’s power to formulate economic and welfare policy affected in debt-ridden states that require international financial support? What does this mean for democratic participation, especially in the context of monetary union where the economic policy of one member can have direct consequences on others? What is the impact on the protection of economic and social rights?

In the context of composite systems, how has the expansion of executive power affected the territorial allocation of powers and policies, and how has a dialogue been implemented among the different territorial levels? What impact has European governance had on the subnational level?

Workshop Programme

9.00 – 9.30

9.30 – 11.00
Panel 1 – The Impact of Austerity: Case Studies from Italy, Portugal and Greece
Chair: Dr Elisenda Casanas-Adam – Lecturer in Public Law and Human Rights (University of Edinburgh)

  • Aren’t There Any Alternatives? Power and Discourse in Portuguese Austerity Politics
    Dr Catherine Moury (Nova University of Lisbon)
  • From Consent to Coercion: The Beast of Austerity and the Crisis of European Democracy
    Joscha Abels (University of Tübingen)
  • Supreme Courts Acting in the Shadow of the Crisis: The Case Law on Austerity Measures in Comparative Perspective
    Dr Antonia Baraggia (University of Milan)

11.00 – 11.15
Break for Tea/Coffee

11.15 – 12.45
Panel 2 – European Austerity: Challenges to our Understanding of Democracy and Law
Chair: Dr Vassilis Tzevelekos – Senior Lecturer in Public International Law (University of Liverpool)

  • Austerity and Constitutional Changes in the EU: A Foucauldian Approach
    Prof Paola Chirulli (Sapienza University) and Luca de Lucia (University of Salerno)
  • Post-Democracy and the Politics of Budgetary Discretion in the Eurozone
    Dr Andrew Glencross (University of Stirling)
  • European Austerity and the European Court of Human Rights
    Dr Dimitrios Kagiaros (University of Edinburgh)
  • Austerity in the EU: A Damning Effect on Citizenship and Human Rights Protection
    Adrienne Yong (University of Hertfordshire)

13.00 – 14.00

14.15 – 15.45
Panel 3 – The Effect of ‘Externally Imposed Austerity’ on the European and Domestic Level
Chair: Dr Kasey McCall-Smith – Lecturer in Public International Law (University of Edinburgh)

  • Democratic Governance and Bargaining powers During Bail-out Negotiations
    Tiago Fidalgo de Freitas (European University Institute), Raquel Franco (University of Lisbon) and Rita de Brito Giao (European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation)
  • Constitutionalism and Austerity in the EU: Reclaiming Constituent Power
    Dr Maria Tzanakopoulou (University College London)
  • Crisis and Territorial Asymmetrical Effects on the Social Rights Guarantees within Economic and Monetary Union
    Prof Francesco Bilancia (University of Chieti-Pescara)
  • National Governments and Coordination of European Policies in Times of Austerity: A Comparative Overview
    Dr Sabrina Ragone (Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law, Heidelberg)

15.45 – 16.00
Break for Tea/Coffee

16.00 – 17.15
Panel 4 – The Impact of Austerity in Composite States
Chair: Dr Cormac Mac Amhlaigh – Lecturer in Public Law (University of Edinburgh)

  • Rigidity or Robustness? Fiscal Consolidation in Federal States
    Prof Dietmar Braun (University of Lausanne), Johanna Schnabel (University of Lausanne) and Christian Ruiz-Palmero (University of Lausanne)
  • The Age of Struggle for the Italian Constitution
    Alessandro Tedde (University of Sassari)
  • The Institutional Framework in Spain After the Crisis: Vertical Integration and Centralisation
    Mario Ianella (Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies)

17.15 – 18.00
Conclusion and Discussion
Prof Stephen Tierney – Professor of Constitutional Theory and Director of the Edinburgh Centre for Constitutional Law (University of Edinburgh)

This workshop was supported by the Edinburgh Europa Institute
and the Edinburgh Centre for Constitutional Law