Cultural Political Economy: An Alternative Approach to Understanding the Divergences between Italian and German Positions during the Euro Crisis

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Series Details Volume 58, Number 4, Pages 1056-1073
Publication Date July 2020
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So far, the Euro crisis has been analysed using the ‘varieties of capitalism’ concept, the growth model framework or ideational accounts. These approaches have generally been applied in isolation or in opposition to one another. There has been little cross‐fertilization, due to the different epistemological points of departure that emphasize either institutional rational efficiency, material driving forces or ideational motives for the political economies during the crisis.

This article instead applies the concept of cultural political economy to today's socioeconomic tensions between northern and southern member states. Cultural political economy offers a historical evolutionary perspective showing how institutional, material and ideational motivations have co‐evolved in European member states since the 1950s, contributing to the discrepancies that we witness today between the northern and southern EU countries. The article exemplifies the cultural political economy approach against the background of the German–Italian irritations that have sparked through the crisis.

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