Geographies Beyond Austerity: Imperial Finance, Differentiated Value and Urban Reproduction

Authors: Faith MacNeil Taylor*, RHUL
Topics: Economic Geography, Urban Geography
Keywords: social reproduction, imperialism, finance, state violence
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This paper argues for an expansive perspective on British austerity that considers a) the histories of differentiated value characterising Keynesianism and b) the transnational politics of domestic financialisation in Britain. In doing so, I suggest that urban geographies of austerity must go further than outlining its violences and casualties, and I call instead for a critique of the state as the arbiter of value beyond fiscal policy. I draw on empirical research with millennial renters in Hackney to explore the convergence of economic violence, state violence and intergenerational trauma, illuminating that disinvestment via austerity policies constitutes just one aspect of devaluation, particularly where race and citizenship are concerned. I conclude that the normalisation of crisis via long-term austerity highlights the culpability of social reproduction in regenerating urban inequality, as space and subsistence dwindles and different capitals are activated.

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