This is a work that tries to describe the immense changes that have been implemented in the name of austerity in the early twenty-first century across Europe and that seeks to imagine the world after austerity. This is an approach that understands that there will be a time when ‘austerity’ ends, although the repercussions of what has been enacted in its name may continue to reverberate. This work presents ‘austerity’ in the twenty-first century as a time-limited campaign that mobilises the sense of crisis in order to institute some extreme and hitherto unexpected measures within a short period. Yet this approach, reliant as it is on crisis-rhetoric, cannot continue indefinitely, and it will end at some point. However, the end of austerity is not a return to things as they were. This volume seeks to demonstrate both that austerity is a campaign to transform everyday life, including when the urgency of austerity as crisis-response has passed, and that this campaign seeks to remake the terrain of the social in such a manner that previous agreements about equality and the reach of mutuality are under threat.
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