Special Issue "The Eurozone Crisis: A Multidisciplinary Perspective"

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A special issue of Social Sciences (ISSN 2076-0760).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2014)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Martin J. Bull (Website)

University of Salford, Crescent House, The Crescent, Salford, Manchester, M5 4WT, UK
Interests: contemporary Italian politics; southern European politics; democratization; political corruption; the European left, west European communism and party political change; European Union politics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Eurozone crisis is one of the most challenging crises facing the world, not only because of the geographic range of its impact but also because of its multidimensionality. This is reflected in the terms of its academic analysis. No comprehensive analysis is possible without bringing to bear the contribution of different disciplines of the social sciences e.g. economics, political economy, political science, international relations, political history, law, sociology, area studies. Yet, beyond the pages of the popular press, the analysis of this crisis has tended to be kept within disciplinary boundaries. This Special Issue – in keeping with the fundamental mission of this journal – attempts to overcome this deficiency by bringing together contributions from different disciplines to enhance different our understanding of the crisis and therefore lay the foundation for stronger analytical explanations and understandings through the development of multi-disciplinary perspectives.

Contributions are therefore invited in this call for papers which analyse the Eurozone crisis from any thematic angle and from any disciplinary or multi-disciplinary perspective. Ideally, papers should summarise their contribution by an emphasis on the more general significance of the discipline of which they are a part to understanding and explaining this crisis.

Prof. Dr. Martin J. Bull
Guest Editor

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Social Sciences is an international peer-reviewed Open Access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. For the first couple of issues the Article Processing Charge (APC) will be waived for well-prepared manuscripts. English correction and/or formatting fees of 250 CHF (Swiss Francs) will be charged in certain cases for those articles accepted for publication that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections.

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Contagion in the Euro Area Sovereign Bond Market
Soc. Sci. 2015, 4(1), 66-82; doi:10.3390/socsci4010066
Received: 5 April 2014 / Accepted: 18 November 2014 / Published: 29 December 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (442 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the last half-decade the European Monetary Union (EMU) has experienced a growing financial instability culminating with an extended sovereign debt crisis that has hit mostly the peripheral countries. Besides weak macroeconomic fundamentals, contagion phenomena in the government bond market damaged the [...] Read more.
In the last half-decade the European Monetary Union (EMU) has experienced a growing financial instability culminating with an extended sovereign debt crisis that has hit mostly the peripheral countries. Besides weak macroeconomic fundamentals, contagion phenomena in the government bond market damaged the countries more exposed to the financial stress. In this paper, the author investigates the issue of contagion applying to the financial field an innovative econometric technique, i.e., panel spatial regression. The paper documents: (i) the presence of contagion, in particular among peripheral countries; (ii) the changes in the magnitude of contagion in the different phases of the debt crisis; and (iii) the relevance of policy interventions in reducing the contagion effect in the EMU. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Eurozone Crisis: A Multidisciplinary Perspective)
Open AccessArticle Has Austerity Succeeded in Ameliorating the Economic Climate? The Cases of Ireland, Cyprus and Greece
Soc. Sci. 2014, 3(2), 288-307; doi:10.3390/socsci3020288
Received: 11 February 2014 / Revised: 9 May 2014 / Accepted: 9 June 2014 / Published: 17 June 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1961 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Great Recession that began in 2008 hit the economy of the European Union extremely hard. The year 2009 brought decline to the majority of the member states, inducing a desperate crisis management process. The few common EU-level crisis management measures that [...] Read more.
The Great Recession that began in 2008 hit the economy of the European Union extremely hard. The year 2009 brought decline to the majority of the member states, inducing a desperate crisis management process. The few common EU-level crisis management measures that were implemented have brought about little success due to the modest volume of the common budget and the inertia of decision making attempting to harmonize often contradicting interests. As there was no credible crisis management at the EU level, most member states introduced their own set of measures. The efficiency of these was influenced by the economic performance of primary trading and investing partners, and by the volatility of the bond markets. In terms of economic performance, member states of the EU followed various paths and experienced various levels of recession in 2009, then various levels of upswing in 2010–2011, only to be hit by a second wave of recession of various extents after 2011. Although many member states took their own measures, general tendencies in crisis management can be defined. At first, the restoration of the functioning of the markets was targeted by generating additional demand through fiscal stimulus, but was then gradually replaced by imperative fiscal consolidation and austerity measures. The effectiveness of austerity programs is questionable: while the bond markets’ volatility called for the correction of fiscal balances, tax hikes and governmental spending cuts tendentiously pushed back economic performance and postponed recovery, making economic growth possible only by increasing public debts. In this study, I present arguments in favour of the view that, in the current economic climate of the EU, prosperity could not be restored exclusively by austerity. Accordingly, I present case studies of the three member states with the largest increases in public debts: Ireland, Cyprus and Greece. My aim is to assess the efficiency of these member states’ crisis management procedures: whether state interventions financed by public debt could result in economic recovery. I also argue that, given the current economic situation, the recovery in these member states in times of crisis is not foreseen. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Eurozone Crisis: A Multidisciplinary Perspective)
Open AccessArticle The Eurozone Crisis: Psychological Mechanisms Undermining and Supporting European Solidarity
Soc. Sci. 2014, 3(1), 160-171; doi:10.3390/socsci3010160
Received: 27 January 2014 / Revised: 24 February 2014 / Accepted: 3 March 2014 / Published: 10 March 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (79 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Europe has become a vivid example of intergroup dynamics with all the risks and chances it holds for peaceful and respectful co-existence. While Europe as a superordinate social category has the capability of solidarity between its subcategories (i.e., nations), negative [...] Read more.
Europe has become a vivid example of intergroup dynamics with all the risks and chances it holds for peaceful and respectful co-existence. While Europe as a superordinate social category has the capability of solidarity between its subcategories (i.e., nations), negative emotions and behaviors among the countries’ citizens have become more prevalent throughout the emerging crisis. This article aims to analyze the psychological outcomes (i.e., negative attitudes) following on from the structural and economic imbalances within the European Union. More precisely, we argue that political reactions towards the Euro crisis facilitated routes to nationalism and thereby fostered supremacy in a few countries. This perceived supremacy of some countries, in turn, legitimized negative reactions towards others. Based on predictions from a social identity perspective, we describe how these processes perpetuate themselves. We also suggest strategies that might prevent the idea of a common Europe from failing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Eurozone Crisis: A Multidisciplinary Perspective)
Open AccessArticle Performance of Survey Forecasts by Professional Analysts: Did the European Debt Crisis Make it Harder or Perhaps Even Easier?
Soc. Sci. 2014, 3(1), 128-139; doi:10.3390/socsci3010128
Received: 20 December 2013 / Revised: 9 January 2014 / Accepted: 14 February 2014 / Published: 21 February 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (126 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
As the future movements of financial time series like the European Central Bank’s benchmark rate are exposed to uncertainty, financial market participants regularly have to rely on professional analysts’ forecasts. Not surprisingly—and for decades already—the quality of survey forecasts has been evaluated, [...] Read more.
As the future movements of financial time series like the European Central Bank’s benchmark rate are exposed to uncertainty, financial market participants regularly have to rely on professional analysts’ forecasts. Not surprisingly—and for decades already—the quality of survey forecasts has been evaluated, with heterogeneous results. In addition, forecasters’ performance can change through the course of time. This may happen not only due to wrong or inadequate underlying models. Especially in times of financial turmoil or monetary crisis—like the European debt crisis—the interest rate moves made by central bankers may become even harder to predict (at least the direct reaction to the crisis). Because of this, we evaluate the performance of survey forecasts for the three months rate in the Euro zone performed by financial professionals and test for structural breaks to evidence for crisis related changes and the corresponding forecast errors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Eurozone Crisis: A Multidisciplinary Perspective)
Open AccessArticle Debt Contagion in Europe: A Panel-Vector Autoregressive (VAR) Analysis
Soc. Sci. 2013, 2(4), 318-340; doi:10.3390/socsci2040318
Received: 23 September 2013 / Revised: 21 November 2013 / Accepted: 9 December 2013 / Published: 18 December 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (355 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Correction | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The European sovereign-debt crisis began in Greece when the government announced in December, 2009, that its debt reached 121% of GDP (or 300 billion euros) and its 2009 budget deficit was 12.7% of GDP, four times the level allowed by the Maastricht [...] Read more.
The European sovereign-debt crisis began in Greece when the government announced in December, 2009, that its debt reached 121% of GDP (or 300 billion euros) and its 2009 budget deficit was 12.7% of GDP, four times the level allowed by the Maastricht Treaty. The Greek crisis soon spread to other Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) countries, notably Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Italy. Using quarterly data for the 2000–2011 period, we implement a panel-vector autoregressive (PVAR) model for 11 EMU countries to examine the extent to which a rise in a country’s bond-yield spread or debt-to-GDP ratio affects another EMU countries’ fiscal and macroeconomic outcomes. To distinguish between interdependence and contagion among EMU countries, we compare results obtained for the pre-crisis period (2000–2007) with the crisis period (2008–2011) and control for global risk aversion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Eurozone Crisis: A Multidisciplinary Perspective)
Open AccessArticle The Eurozone Crisis: Muddling through on the Way to a More Perfect Euro Union?
Soc. Sci. 2013, 2(4), 221-233; doi:10.3390/socsci2040221
Received: 11 September 2013 / Revised: 29 September 2013 / Accepted: 17 October 2013 / Published: 18 October 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (234 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Taking a historical perspective of economic changes, this paper argues that muddling through crises-induced reforms characterizes well the evolutionary process of forming currency unions. The economic distortions facing the euro include structural challenges in the labor and product markets, and financial distortions. [...] Read more.
Taking a historical perspective of economic changes, this paper argues that muddling through crises-induced reforms characterizes well the evolutionary process of forming currency unions. The economic distortions facing the euro include structural challenges in the labor and product markets, and financial distortions. While both structural and financial distortions are costly and prevalent, they differ in fundamental ways. Financial distortions are moving at the speed of the Internet, and their welfare costs are determined more by the access to credit lines and leverage, than by the GDP of each country. In contrast, the structural distortions are moving at a slow pace relative to the financial distortions, and their effects are determined by inter-generational dynamics. These considerations suggest that the priority should be given to dealing with the financial distortions. A more perfect Eurozone is not assured without successfully muddling through painful periodic crises. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Eurozone Crisis: A Multidisciplinary Perspective)
Open AccessArticle The European Social Market Model in Crisis: At a Crossroads or at the End of the Road?
Soc. Sci. 2013, 2(3), 131-146; doi:10.3390/socsci2030131
Received: 23 May 2013 / Revised: 19 June 2013 / Accepted: 10 July 2013 / Published: 12 July 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (833 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The European Union (EU) can be regarded as one economic region and this way its competitiveness can be defined and examined. However, there are huge tensions within the European region that raise questions about whether there exists a European economic region and [...] Read more.
The European Union (EU) can be regarded as one economic region and this way its competitiveness can be defined and examined. However, there are huge tensions within the European region that raise questions about whether there exists a European economic region and thus “European competitiveness” at all. Unlike some of its largest competitors, Europe still has not overcome the financial and economic crisis that burst out in 2008. In fact, Europe is now struggling with its own crisis, being rather a new chapter than the natural continuation of the global processes. The whole story of the European integration has been the story of economic and social cohesion. In this respect, there does exist a European social market model. But there is a huge dilemma related to this model that has to be faced: on one hand, high European social standards can only be met if competitiveness is maintained but, on the other hand, these expectations on behalf of European societies appear as a mere disadvantage in cost-competitiveness in the global arena. The issue is complex and calls for balanced and sophisticated thinking. In this sense, European competitiveness is the competitiveness of the whole European social market model—highly challenged these days. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Eurozone Crisis: A Multidisciplinary Perspective)
Open AccessArticle Greek Exit from the Crisis—A Pressing and Much-Needed Public Service Reform
Soc. Sci. 2013, 2(2), 78-90; doi:10.3390/socsci2020078
Received: 1 February 2013 / Revised: 19 April 2013 / Accepted: 19 April 2013 / Published: 23 April 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (83 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Greece is in a deep crisis; the worst in all of Europe and the worst experienced in 45 years. Greece is no stranger to crises, but most have been exogenous: the Second World War and the Cold War, for instance. Sadly, unlike [...] Read more.
Greece is in a deep crisis; the worst in all of Europe and the worst experienced in 45 years. Greece is no stranger to crises, but most have been exogenous: the Second World War and the Cold War, for instance. Sadly, unlike these crises, the present one is home-made. The wounds that it has caused are largely self-inflicted. It is especially difficult to fathom the logic of strikes by public service unions—repeated, relentless and militant. They paralyzed the country, drove investors and tourists away and added to the burdens that the economy and the people have had to bear. These strikes, and some public servants’ attitudes in the face of the crisis itself, brought into sharp relief the serious capacity deficit in the Greek administrative system, which has been at the root of the problem the country is currently facing. This statement begs the question: how can that be? What, after 30 years of public service reform, presumed to modernize and help the country approximate the standards embedded in the Common European Administrative Space? The paper will suggest that the reforms of the 1980s were only superficially reforms to improve the effectiveness and quality of the Service. Like parallel changes in higher education, the principal objective was harnessing officialdom, and as many voters as possible, to the chariot of PASOK—the political party established by Andreas Papandreou—which effectively governed the country for most of the period in question. The lesson from this experience may be none other, in fact, than clear convincing proof that partisan concerns and institution-building seldom make a good combination. For Greece, in light of the crisis, effective integration in the EU remains a daunting challenge. It calls for bold reforms, but these must be undertaken with institution-building, the country’s general interest, and long term needs in mind. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Eurozone Crisis: A Multidisciplinary Perspective)

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Open AccessCorrection Correction: Bouvet F., et al., Debt Contagion in Europe: A Panel-Vector Autoregressive (VAR) Analysis. Soc. Sci. 2013, 2, 318–340
Soc. Sci. 2014, 3(2), 193; doi:10.3390/socsci3020193
Received: 27 March 2014 / Accepted: 27 March 2014 / Published: 27 March 2014
PDF Full-text (16 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract It has come to our attention that due to an error in producing the PDF version of the paper [1], doi:10.3390/socsci2040318, website: http://www.mdpi.com/2076-0760/2/4/318, some of the figures are displayed incorrectly. [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Eurozone Crisis: A Multidisciplinary Perspective)

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