In Draghi We Trust: The Euro Crisis, Social Unrest and the European Central Bank


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  • Gerald Schneider

The 2008 global financial crisis came with fears - and, for some, hopes of a new wave of public mobilisation in industrialised countries. Large protests were particularly expected in the epicentre of the crisis, the European Union. Yet, the force with which social groups garnered their calls for strikes ebbed quickly away. Gerald Schneider provides new evidence for why this was the case. He claims that strikes, and particularly political strikes, are 'bad weather' phenomena and crises exacerbate them. In monetary unions, where currency adjustments are difficult, fiscal changes are not supported by easing monetary measures and should unchain social unrest unless supranational actors get involved. Schneider argues that the political actions of the European Central Bank (ECB) have countered the potential for strikes in the Eurozone. He provides evidence for his theory with yearly panel data and a new original data  set of monthly strikes between 2001 and 2013. His analyses support the thesis that the EU institution was successful at attenuating social indignation over the Eurocrisis and its political fallout.

This paper is based on co-authored work with Dr. Federica Genovese (Essex) and Pia Wassmann (Hannover).

Professor Gerald Schneider, University of Konstanz

Gerald Schneider is Professor of International Politics and Executive Editor of “European Union Politics”. His main areas of research are European Union decision making, the causes and consequences of armed violence, the international political economy of financial markets, bargaining and conflict management.

Schneider defended his doctoral thesis at the University of Zurich in 1991, worked as post-doc at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) for two years and was an assistant professor (1992 – 1995) at the Institut universitaire de hautes études internationales in Geneva. Before joining the faculty at Konstanz in 1997, he was a Professor of Political Science at the University of Stuttgart (1996-1997) and Program Director at the University of Berne (1994 – 1997). Gerald Schneider has also been visiting scholar at Università Bocconi (Visiting Research Professor), Charles University Prague, Harvard University, University of Kobe, Sciences Po Paris (Grosser Chair) and Università Siena. He has published around 150 articles in various journals and volumes. Schneider is President of the European Political Science Association (2013-2015) and was also in 2003-2004 Vice President of the International Studies Association, and served as Program Chair for the 50th annual convention in New York City in 2009. Schneider has acted as a consultant and referee for various organizations, including the World Bank and the U.S. National Science Foundation. He has served for various selection committees of the the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation since 2007 and was a member of the scientific board of the Swiss Network of International Studies (2008-2013). Besides his native German, Schneider speaks English, French and survives in Italian and Danish.

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