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The uncertain (re)politicisation of fiscal relations in Europe: a shift in EMU's modes of governance

Paudyn, Bartholomew (2011) The uncertain (re)politicisation of fiscal relations in Europe: a shift in EMU's modes of governance. Review of International Studies, 37 (05). pp. 2201-2220. ISSN 0260-2105

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Identification Number: 10.1017/S0260210511000404


Europe's numerous fiscal crises – 2003 Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) crisis, its subsequent 2005 reforms, and the recent sovereign debt woes – draw attention to a shift in the management of EMU; namely the inclusion of more uncertainty-based governance. Understood as modalities of government, risk, and uncertainty make the production of this fiscal-monetary space intelligible as a recognised form of knowledge and object of government. Whereas the Pact was devised as the anchor for EMU, it has come to symbolise its weakness. This article argues that the result is an antagonistic relationship between the programmatic and operational dimensions of fiscal governance; otherwise seen as a dialectic between the two competing domains of expertise/law and politics. Starting with the 2005 SGP reforms, and exacerbated by the credit crisis, uncertainty has been mobilised to justify alternative forms of managing fiscal conduct linked to new strategies of calculation and issues of responsibility. Bound to variegated notions of ‘fiscal normality’, I contend that the 2005 reforms signal the (re)politicisation of the budgetary framework and the reconfiguration of the politics of limits. Rather than marginalising informal judgment, the government through uncertainty places a greater emphasis on creative entrepreneurialism in fostering compliance in ways risk does not.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2011 British International Studies Association
Divisions: International Relations
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Sets: Departments > International Relations
Date Deposited: 07 Oct 2014 09:43
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2020 04:31

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