A blog on the political, economic and social causes and implications of the crisis in the Southern periphery of the Eurozone.

I'm a political scientist working on political parties and elections, social and economic policy and political corruption, with a particular focus on Italy and Spain. For more details on my work, see CV here, and LSE homepage here. For media or consultancy enquiries, please email J.R.Hopkin@lse.ac.uk.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Italy: Social partners move against the government

The lack of credibility of the Berlusconi government has led to an unprecedented degree of unity amongst the social partners in calling for a change in policy, and implicitly in leadership. The main trade unions and employers associations signed a joint document appealing for 'discontinuity' and a 'pact for growth' drawn up with the social partners. The Uil union (close to the ruling party) didn't sign.

This is an interesting move, suggesting Berlusconi's support base is slipping away. Some commentators are drawing parallels with 1992, when a financial and fiscal crisis ushered in a wholesale change in the political establishment (ironically, hastening Berlusconi's rise to power).

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Southern Europe Crisis: An Introduction

I've been blogging for a while now, over on Unpublishable Thoughts, but decided to set up this new blog on the economic and political crisis of Southern Europe, as a place to post thoughts, analysis and speculation on where the Eurozone's southern periphery is heading.

Most comment on the Southern European crisis has up to now focused on the very real economic weaknesses of Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain, and the difficulties involved in maintaining their fiscal stability. But relatively little attention has been paid to the political dimension of the crisis, with the exception of some superficial reporting of strikes and demonstrations in response to the austerity package in Greece. My guess is that the politics of Southern Europe is about to get a lot more complicated, and that in turn will have powerful ramifications for the management of the Euro crisis.

My background (see CV here) in the study of democratization, political parties and electoral politics in Southern Europe (principally Spain and Italy), and my recent comparative research on economic and social policy, make these developments a central concern in my research. This blog is aimed at circulating some of my work to a broad audience before publication.

For more details on my work, see my LSE homepage here. For media or consultancy enquiries, please email J.R.Hopkin@lse.ac.uk.