Writing for Public Service Europe, Vassilis K. Fouskas, co-author of the forthcoming The Fall of the US Empire: Global Fault-Lines and the Shifting Imperial Order, writes on the significance of the recent elections in France and Greece for the European elite project of cuts and austerity:
The main feature of the elections of May 6, especially when viewed in the context of the victory of Francois Hollande in France, is the extraordinarily positive response of the people to anti-austerity agendas and programmes – a response that is now reverberating across Europe and the world. Especially in Greece, this electoral result appears to radicalise the entire political and social geography of the country, initiating the end of post-1974 corrupt party rule. As things stand in Europe, Greece now has the largest radical democratic left across the continent – Syriza, the Greek Communist Party and the Democratic Left account for over 30 per cent of the electorate. This trend will probably lead to a further disintegration of Pasok and New Democracy and an increasing polarisation of civil society into the forces of the left and the right, as has always been the case under conditions of severe social, economic and political crisis. In this respect, the Greek vote has the potential to challenge and change not only the political and social map of Greece, but also that of Europe.
Fouskas also comments on the potential for social anger to be channelled by the far-right:
The Greek far-right of Golden Dawn entered parliament, but it will fast wither away: it has no intellectuals of any calibre, no equivalent of the French National Front leader Marine Le Pen in its ranks. Neither fascism nor nazism have historically been embedded in in Greek society. But the far-right in continental Europe is dangerous because it has charismatic leaders that draw from well-embedded traditions which are currently aided by Germany’s neoliberal lead in the EU. The French and the Greek elections show, among others, that it is now Germany’s anti-inflation monetary culture that cultivates the rise of right-wing racism across Europe, rather than Germany’s authoritarian statism – as, one could argue, was the case in the 1920s and 1930s.
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Global Fault-Lines and the Shifting Imperial Order
Vassilis K. Fouskas and Bülent Gökay
Looks at the debates amongst critical theorists about the decline of US power.
“A major addition to the literature on the decline of US hegemony. Avoids cheap polemics and shows balanced, even prudent, judgement. In addition, it offers a sophisticated survey of grand theories of capitalism including those of Fernand Braudel, Immanuel Wallerstein, Giovanni Arrighi, and Robert Brenner.” – Professor Donald Sassoon, Comparative European History, Queen Mary University of London
“It is widely agreed that the current crisis in the capitalist economies is the worst since the 1930s. But in this timely book, Fouskas and Gokay suggest that the financial disarray reflects the beginning of the end of the US Empire and a decisive shift of power to the ‘Global East’. Their argument is both stimulating and challenging.” – Michael Newman
US Foreign Policy in the Balkans and the Greater Middle East
Vassilis K. Fouskas
Radical interpretation of US policy in Europe, the Balkans and the Middle East.
The Post-Imperial Constitution
Vassilis K. Fouskas and Alex O. Tackie
Convincing case for a united, democratic and independent Cyprus
“This study offers a new intellectual ethos to uncover the complex historical facts and explain the current deadlock in Cyprus.” – Bülent Aras, Professor of International Relations, Isik University, Istanbul
“A provocative account placing the evolution of the well-known history of the Cyprus problem in the context of competing great power politics and strategic considerations in the Eastern Mediterranean.” – Van Coufoudakis, Professor Emeritus, Indiana, University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne