Translating Austerity. The Formation and Transformation of EU Economic Constitution as Discourse


The European Constitution is not a single text. Rather, it emerged, changed over time, and developed an incomplete and constantly transforming ensemble of texts, rules, institutions, competences and implementation procedures. The notion of dispositif grasps the form, outlook and logic of European economic governance and agenda-setting practices to analyse the logic of economic constitutionalism based on complex translation processes. With the ‘discursive pentagon’ model, the paper will show how an economic idea, grounded within the European constitution, was implemented by Greece, Italy, and Portugal through different forms of translation in the aftermath of 2009 financial crisis. The paper argues that austerity was part of the EU constitutional system moved through a mechanism of interpretation consisting of different stages, tools and discourses before it was finally (un)realised in different member states. The interpretative flexibility of the EU economics apparatus is finally illustrated by a discourse analysis of the European semester.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i20398573v7n1p61


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