The Political Economy of the European Periphery

This project is funded by a Research Collaboration Grant from the Irish Research Council. 

The Eurozone economic crisis affected Ireland, Portugal, Greece, and Spain particularly severely. All were ‘peripheral’ economies in the 1970s and 1980s, in the sense of being late industrializers with a late transition from agriculture-based economies. Cohesion Funds helped facilitate their convergence with the EU average. But access to cheap credit during the 2000s caused divergence once again, since these countries had neither the institutional nor the infrastructural resources to counter the unanticipated consequences of European Monetary Union. They were all therefore highly exposed when the international crisis broke in 2008. 

This international collaborative project analyses patterns of domestic adaptation to the pressures of European economic, political and monetary integration. The central focus is on politics as the mediator of economic pressures and incentives, showing how the same pressures resulted in different political responses and therefore different pathways to crisis. The project uses cross-country comparative method, and within-country variation over time.

Contact Niamh Hardiman

A co-authored book, The Political Economy of the European Periphery, will be published by Oxford University Press.

The authors are Niamh Hardiman (UCD), Spyros Blavoukos (AUEB, Athens), Sebastian Dellepiane (U. Strathclyde, Glasgow), George Pagoulatos (AUEB, Athens).

Research assistance was provided during 2012/3 by Jon Las Heras.

A conference presenting some of the findings of the project will be held in Newman House on Tuesday 3 December 2013.


Working Papers