The Crisis before “The Crisis”: Violence and Neoliberalization in Athens
The “Greek crisis” was officially inaugurated on May 2010 with the loan the Greek government took from the IMF-European Union-European Central Bank troika, the largest a country had ever taken (€110 bn). Since then, the social implications of this crisis have been dramatic. The form and the scale of social phenomena observed today in Greece and particularly in Athens–e.g., extreme poverty and inequality, profound police violence, organized racist violence–are unprecedented for the country. Nevertheless, a diachronic examination of some socio-spatial aspects of Athens reveals that the social character of the current crisis has been taking shape for some time. This article aims shed light on the social shape of the crisis by outlining three such socio-spatial dimensions as they materialized in the case of Athens during 1990s and 2000s: first, the emergence of new forms of social exclusion and inequality; second, the vast project of urban (re)development and the new spatialities it produced, and third the emergence of novel forms of political and xenophobic violence.
violence, protest, social movements, neoliberalism, Greece
Citation: Social Justice Vol. 39, No. 1 (2012): 24-42