Indebted citizenship - an interview with David Harvey in Teatro Valle

Austerity doesn't make sense economically: but it does make sense as a politics of autocracy and the securitized state. Europe should learn from China and Latin America. (Video, 17 minutes).

David Harvey Andrea Mura
24 February 2014

How can we account for the current crisis and condition of indebtedness in which we live? What are the elements of novelty as well as those of continuity in current configurations of debt and austerity? What can Europe learn from other relevant experiences, in places like Latin America, Middle East, China? These are some of the questions that David Harvey responds to, following a keynote speech given in Teatro Valle during the Spatial Struggle event the previous day. Arguing for a strict analysis of the link between the crisis and neoliberalism which maintains the interpretation of the latter as a ‘class project’, Harvey emphasises the elements of continuity of that project since the 1970s, cautioning against those approaches eager to move beyond a class vocabulary, and which stress instead the centrality of desire and precarity in accounting for contemporary forms of indebtedness, together with the elements of rupture that have emerged in recent years.

This interview with David Harvey was recorded at Teatro Valle during an event, Spatial Struggle, arisen from the joint initiative of Teatro Valle Occupato and the Oecumene Project (Open University). It helps us frame the wider context of crisis and austerity within which the Teatro Valle event was designed with the express desire of enacting new forms of dialogue and sharing based on the practice of the commons at a European level.  The interview is part of a broader project by Andrea Mura entitled ‘Indebted Citizenship’, and conducted on behalf of the Oecumene Project and the Open University’s Centre for Citizenship, Identity and Governance (CCIG).

An editorial partnership with Open University

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