Time exchange and reciprocity in the co-production of public services

In today’s blog, Daniel Durrant discusses a paper based on research conducted as part of an evaluation of the Cambridgeshire Time Credits Project which the Cambridge Centre for Planning and Housing Research were commissioned to do. Time Credits are a form of community currency. The particular model discussed in the paper was promoted widely by Spice – an entrepreneurial and rapidly expanding social enterprise.

Time Credits were developed in South Wales having attracted considerable support from the Welsh Assembly and nationally from the Department of Health. The model stresses its origins in the work of Kennedy era policy adviser, Edgar Cahn on Time Banking, with volunteers able to earn a credit for an hour’s voluntary work which they can either exchange for an hour’s reciprocal work or as is more common for an hour’s worth of services from a ‘corporate spend partner’ usually a local gym or cinema.

Cambridgeshire County Council has commissioned Spice to roll out their Time Credits programme in the county with initial trials in Wisbech. A geographically isolated and relatively deprived corner of an otherwise affluent County with an economy focused on agricultural production and the low skilled, insecure and often migrant labour associated with it. The Council’s commitment to the programme and the notions of reciprocity and ‘co-production’ imbedded within the model is both ideological and explicitly financial given the 60 percent reduction in budget they face in the decade 2010-2020. It is the tensions between the rhetoric and reality of co-production identified through the ethnographic component of the evaluation that this paper explores.

Academic interest in reciprocal exchange has a long heritage in the social sciences going back to Marcel Mauss’ work of gift exchange. David Graeber (2001) contrasts this ‘open’ reciprocity, implying a relationship of permanent mutual commitment, to the ‘closed’ balancing of accounts that occurs within a money transaction. It has also been identified as one of the internal logics of co-production in its current form in UK policy making (Glynos and Speed, 2012) seen in recent Coalition policy such as the Big Society. The concept, as applied to UK policy, is a fuzzy one containing a whole range of aspirations from the ‘transformational’ alternative forms of economic activity and democratic renewal to the more prosaic service improvement through dialogue with users.

Our findings were that on a personal level, for many the experience did indeed have a transformational element with considerable success in attracting what we describe as ‘non-traditional’ volunteers. Furthermore, we found clear evidence that the physical and mental health benefits associated with volunteering were present and that the programme was giving people and crucially families on low incomes access to physical and leisure activities often denied them by a punitive welfare regime.

The concept of co-production promoted by Spice, however, had very little resonance amongst the volunteers or the community organisations administering the programme. First, for volunteers there was very little reciprocal exchange with Time Credits generally spent with the corporate spend partners and valued as such. These interactions were much closer to closed monetary exchanges. Second, in terms of shifting the balance of power between the recipients and providers of welfare services, there was some evidence that Time Credits were a useful tool for skilled community workers. Yet with austerity reducing the number of these workers and increasing the workloads of the remainder there is little evidence that volunteers, earning Time Credits, can replace this capacity.

This led us to the conclusion that the form of co-production was what Glynos and Speed describe as ‘additive’ in that the users of a service are clearly involved in the delivery of a model that supplements existing provision. In this case the addition is set against the withdrawal of services and resources. We believe this calls into question the rhetoric of reciprocity within the entrepreneurial, contract driven model of time exchange pursued by Spice. It may fit neatly with local government priorities to reduce welfare expenditure, yet we found very little evidence of the more ‘transformative’ aspects of co-production. This suggests that in the absence of wider economic shifts there are limits to the extent to which the model can fill the gap in services left by austerity policies or on its own address the deed rooted problems faced by communities in places such as Wisbech.

Daniel Durrant is now a Lecturer in Infrastructure Planning at UCL’s Bartlett School of Planning where he takes (and encourages students to take) a broad view of infrastructure, that includes physical infrastructures, emerging technologies on the way to becoming infrastructures and institutional and includes ethical frameworks as infrastructures. The paper discussed in this blog draws on research into civil society and the infrastructures it produces. It was conducted whilst he was working at The Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research with former colleague Dr Gemma Burgess who is a Senior Researcher there.

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Municipal Socialism in the 21st century – Call for contributions

We are delighted to announce that on Wednesday 27th June, we will host a 1 day conference on the theme of Municipal Socialism in the 21st century. This will take the form of a dialogue between researchers, policy actors and urban activists. We expect to organise round-table discussions over the course of the day around a cluster of themes, including:

  • Whither municipal socialism in the 21st century?
  • The feminisation of urban power and resistance (especially in the aftermath of 8-M)
  • The return of the left: implications for community organising and coproduction
  • The local state as agent of resistance and transformation
  • Trade unions: bringing the organised working class back into urban politics.

We will have only a small number of slots for panellists, but if you are interested in speaking on one of these themes, please email adrian.bua@dmu.ac.uk with a brief description of your contribution.  We will send out further details, and information about registration in due course.

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PhD Opportunity at CURA

The Centre for Urban Research on Austerity is looking for prospective PhD students interested in developing innovative, interdisciplinary research projects in any field related to cities, urbanism and austerity.

Candidates shall submit a one-page draft proposal to Dr Adam Fishwick (adam.fishwick@dmu.ac.uk) in the first instance. Final submission date for a full application is 17th May. Please note, Full Bursary Scholarships are available only to UK/EU applicants. Fee Waiver Scholarships are open to UK, EU and overseas students.

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Austerity Diasporas: Brexit, Portugal and Looking to the Future

With the following post Lisa Rodan completes the four-part series on “Austerity Diasporas”, which is related to her ongoing PhD research onthe experience of Portuguese migrants affected by the 2008 crash and ensuing austerity. The first post focussed on social changes in Portugal leading up to the 2011 austerity measures. In the second post, Lisa described how migration has shaped Portuguese history up to today. Part three dealt with the experience of Portuguese migrants in London under austerity. Finally, in part four, Lisa discusses the predictions of her research participants for life after Brexit.

The Brexit vote gave an unexpected jump-start to my PhD fieldwork. I had just begun identifying potential respondents for a year-long anthropological examination of how the 2011 austerity measures around Southern Europe had affected the outlook, identity and long-term social imagination of millennial Portuguese migrants in London. They were a group that would eventually become defined within my research by their access to higher education during the more prosperous 1990s.

After the initial shock that it had actually happened, the attitude amongst many of my interlocutors was defiant. “What are they going to do, chuck us all out?” said Mariana, 26, a nurse, “The economy would collapse. They can’t do without us.” Jose, 32, an engineer, was not worried either. “For people like me, there are always lots of opportunities. If they are so short-sighted to make us leave, I’ll go to Germany. But they won’t. I don’t know about outside of London but here at least I know we’ll be OK.”

Not everyone felt as confident though, and the feelings of betrayal caused by the vote were often expressed with resentment and suspicion. Olivia, a 34-year-old waitress who trained as a teacher in Portugal, grimly welcomed Brexit as a, “Necessary evil to keep out those who come for benefits, layabouts… unlike us who have come here to work and contribute.” Her words were echoed by those who resented the harsh living conditions they were exposed to in London. They framed Brexit as a necessary change to a status quo which enabled exploitation of people like them. For Guilherme, 32, an ambitious potential businessman who was feeling burnt-out after two years of working in various catering businesses, “Politics is a sham,” and he welcomed a shake-up of the whole system.  “I came here to work hard and make something of myself,” he told me bitterly, “and am treated worse than a dog. There are too many people here and something has to change.” Marco, a 39 year-old teaching assistant, is determined to stay until he gets the experience that will allow him to establish himself in a permanent teaching career but is resentful of the decision for symbolic reasons. “Portugal is Britain’s oldest ally, right? And I come here, the Spanish, the Italians, we respect the culture, we have a common, western culture. Why is it us they want to stop coming? Me, I never asked for benefits in my life, there’s something wrong, isn’t there? Rather than asking us all to leave, they should stop the benefits, make the people work!”

Over the course of my fieldwork these initial reactions to Brexit became part of a wider reflection from my respondents on plans for the future. Many started to increasingly refer to Portugal as no longer a ‘country in crisis’ but rather somewhere with potential. Returning home was presented as a ‘lifestyle choice’ and a chance for a ‘good life’ with frequent references to accepting and adapting to a new way of being. “People are a bit humbler now” says Andreia, 35, a former pharmacist turned medical student in Porto. “People’s expectations of how things ‘should’ be done are different, it’s no longer go to university, get a job, have a family. People have changed their mentality and learned to adapt to the way things are now. Especially those whose degrees saturated the labour market, like me.”

Part of this ‘learning to adapt’ is harnessing new sources of income generation which will enable a ‘good life’ in Portugal. The intertwined pillars of the post-crisis world in the Portuguese context, from my respondents’ point of view, are digitalisation of careers and tourism. These are dominated

by educated members of the millennial generation and a global outlook achieved through their experience abroad. Ines, 33, a nurse, plans to go back to Portugal but not to work in healthcare. “Long-term I want to change, something with tourism. That’s where the future is. The hospital I worked before, noooo, never. Terrible place! My idea is I’d like to get a two bed flat and rent one bed out on Airbnb. But I have to figure out how.” Like many of my respondents, she had multiple success stories of people who had done just that and achieved the perfect balance of a salary that enabled a global lifestyle and local images of a ‘good life’ represented by the weather, food, and cultural and family connections of Portugal. A friend of a friend, she told me, had quit his prestigious banking job in London four years earlier and moved back to Porto with his wife and baby. He now had a business running food tours, supplemented by freelance financial consultancy. “You see? That’s the dream!”

Who is able to access this dream depends as much on professional and educational capital as on the changing nature of working practices. The digitalisation of a transnational ‘gig economy’ in Portugal has its roots in a generation who consider themselves ‘European’ as well as ‘Portuguese’. They have experience abroad and are now returning wielding their bilingualism and globally recognised skill sets, which allow them to stand out from the crowd. Within such experiences and imaginations are a whole spectrum of potential success stories, ranging from teaching Portuguese via skype, to online jewellery business and international brand consultancy.

The Portuguese cultural imagination has long honoured the trait of ‘making do’ via the concept of ‘desenrascanço’– which loosely translates as “the act of disentangling yourself from a difficult situation using available means.” The Portugueseness of such responses to its’ local crisis is nevertheless embedded in a post-austerity global political economy where reduced state services have placed the onus on the individual to engage in work which can be simultaneously empowering and precarious. Offering digital services allows freedom of movement whilst at the same time removing long-term stability. Whether this diversion of domestic work practices in Portugal will exacerbate existing inequality amongst those who had the opportunity to leave and are now returning and those who had no choice but to stay remains to be seen.

Lisa Rodan is a third year PhD student in Social Anthropology at the University of Kent where she is working with three colleagues on an ESRC funded project entitled Household Survival in Crisis: Austerity and Relatedness in Greece and Portugal.

 

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The Future of Capitalism with Wolfgang Streeck

In this special edition of the CURA podcast we talk to Wolfgang Streeck, Director of the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, about his works “Buying Time” (2013) and “How Will Capitalism End?” (2016). You can listen and download the podcast here , on soundcloud, itunes, and most major podcast platforms.

Drawing widely on classics from Schumpeter, Polanyi and Marx, Streeck offers an account of the lineage of democracy, capitalism and the state since the post-war period, identifying the deeply de-democratising and self-destructive trajectory in contemporary capitalist development. Against liberal received wisdom, Streeck argues that democracy and capitalism are anything but natural partners or easy bedfellows, but have in fact been in constant historical tension. The post-war social democratic settlement represents an unusual “fix” to this tension that was relatively favourable to the popular classes, or “wage dependent”, parts of the population. However, this fix unravelled in the 70’s as the capitalist, or “profit-dependent”, class rediscovered its agency and, with neo-liberal globalisation and financialisation, began to shape a world in its interests.

Streeck argues that these processes are putting in danger not only the existence of democratic politics, which is increasingly circumscribed by the need for states to appease financial markets, but also the future of capitalism itself. Streeck’s vision for what is to come is gloomy. Capitalism continues to erode the social foundations necessary for its own sustenance, as well as the resources needed to collectively construct an alternative order. Institutional and policy fixes to capitalist contradictions are running out. We can expect the result to be the development of an increasingly uncertain and under-institutionalised social order, reminiscent of a Hobbesian state of nature, where individual agency and creativity becomes fundamental to meet basic needs and achieve even minimal goals. Politics offers hope of rupture, but is itself increasingly constrained and defiled by capitalist development and rationality.

In this podcast CURA‘s Adrian Bua talks to Wolfgang about his work on the trajectory of capitalism and democracy.

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Popular Democracy – Rejoinder by Baiocchi and Ganuza

In this post we bring CURA’s book debate on Gianpaolo Baiocchi and Ernesto Ganuza’s book “Popular Democracy” to a close, with a rejoinder by the authors to Adrian Bua’s review, written in response to an opening post describing the main argument of the book.

We thank Adrian Bua and CURA for this invitation to reflect on this important set of issues in the contemporary debate about cities, neoliberalism, and the future of democracy.

Adrian Bua presents us with a set of interesting provocations about the challenges of participation in a neoliberal context based on two major issues: the limits of procedures, and the relations between institutions and social struggles. It is not only a question of political will, as Adrian suggests, but of concrete material struggles. And that is what we are going to try address here, knowing that the challenge is huge, touching as it does, on issues that are central to the political left.

The history of Participatory Budgeting dates to pro-democracy struggles in Brazil in the 1980s, but the jump to its becoming a global icon is inextricably linked to the alterglobalization movement. In the early 2000s the Workers Party of the city of Porto Alegre organized the World Social Forum with the alterglobalization movement.  The slogan that emerged, “Another World is Possible”, connected social struggles for a fairer world, which social movements had been claiming on a planetary scale for over ten years, with a participatory experience promoted by a government of the left, which had been implemented in Porto Alegre over the previous decade. There, the desires for a fairer world informed by social justice joined with an instrument based on the participation of the people in the political decision making. This instrument had already proven its ability to distribute wealth in a municipality in the Global South, and therefore, quickly became a global icon against neoliberal policies.

In spite of the seemingly unstoppable advances of neoliberal logics in the next decade, PB  became known as an instrument able to lead a public management in the direction of social justice than actual governance outcomes. After the first three World Social Forums, PB experiences multiplied in the world. Spanish experiences come directly from the WSF, where politicians and activists went to the first years. US  experiences arrived through an American Social Forum, a derivate of the World Social Forum, a few years later.  This is not to say that PB has been promoted by social movements, but the rhetoric surrounding PB come from the WSF and it was used by political representatives to implement this experience in Europe and the US. So, PB in global North was pregnant with ideas about social justice and the democratization of public spaces. How can neoliberalism usurp this idea?

The failure or limits of PB in the Global North, as we discuss in the book, are not due to a lack of tools, but to a political perspective. The history of capitalism that Boltanski and Chiapello outline in The New Spirit of Capitalism already announced the coexistence of artistic logics with the traditional logics of resistance. Participation offers a genuine channel to this artistic expression: more autonomy, self-management and horizontality. That the WB has changed its own way of approaching development, incorporating participation as a driving idea, may be a good example of this. But so are the manuals of new public management so widespread in European countries today. They have made it possible for all types of government, irrespective of their ideology, to see participation as a possible way. The expansion of PB in the world has much to do with this, rather than the ideals of social movements.

However, what we argue is that, despite this, the PB carries with it a radically democratic idea: as it gives autonomy to the people and puts them at the center of the political process, something that we cannot ignore. Participants in these experiences are able to go beyond the boundaries of representation to visualize a radical democratic game, which continually compels them to try to re-connect participation to decision-making processes and social justice, which often involves conflict with the administration promoting PB.  For the Indignados in Spain, for example, PBs were always a concrete tool capable of transferring their rhetoric for social justice to a concrete institutional context. The problem is not the tool, but the political perspective with which the PB is implemented.

The dilemmas that Adrian mentions are real.  Local governments face constraints in pursuing radical policies, partly because they do not have sufficient power to condition the policies that most affect citizenship.  The scales of democracy, to rehearse an old argument of Robert Dahl, are mismatched.  Problems are felt locally, and local constituencies routinely elect more governments that are more progressive or radical, than national ones.   But local governments can do very little to impact policies, such as employment policies, that are the main concern of their constituents.  And in a globalized world, interconnections reduce the autonomy of agents even further.  National governments now find their space of maneuver reduced.

But this does not mean that nothing can be done. It does not mean that if in Europe economic decisions have a marked technocratic and neoliberal character, municipal governments can not deploy political measures with other logics. The problem, we insist, is a political one.  Nothing prevents the establishment of radical democratic mechanisms in cities.  Whether these might come into conflict down the line with policies at other levels of government, or if it might awaken political demands that are more radical than current governance allows, are different questions.   Now, the question would be whether a political project of such caliber is really desired. If the PB has always been implemented on the way that caused the least resistance in the cities, disconnecting it from the operative centers of the administrations, we need to question the political projects behind these implementations. Do rulers really want that democratic radicalism? This obviously alludes to a political issue of immense controversy for the political left. But perhaps the movements of indignados in Spain and Occupy in Us were right to stop thinking of utopian horizons, societies that had to be designed beforehand, which always requires experts and political elites, to imagine a democratic radicalization. It is this democratic radicalism that is frightening, even to many leftist militants and activists.

In Madrid and Barcelona, today’s governments, which would be impossible to understand without the protests of indignados, could assume that democratic radicalism more broadly. It is true that it is not only about techniques, but about political culture and that way is very long. This would not mean to reject experts or politicians, but to democratize political spaces. It is true that none of the governments of the two Spanish cities has a majority in their respective municipalities, which conditions their own government program. But they can undoubtedly use more democratic logics in local affairs where they have maneuverability. That will not change the world, but it would help make it more egalitarian and fairer. But above all it would generate concrete referents to follow that way.

The second great question raised by Adrian Bua has to do with the very design of the participatory experience and to what extent we could say that a participatory government can effectively favor a more just and egalitarian politics. We have already mentioned above that we understand that the problems have not to do so much with the techniques as with the political perspective. Here the question raises doubts about the ability of governments to establish democratic institutions from above, reversing the bottom-up logic that has usually been a commonplace for the political left imaginaries. We understand that doubts are more than reasonable considering past experience, but that cannot make us forget that institutions are based in society.

The problem, as we understand it, is not the institution, unless we imagine a world without them, but the type and logic that make institutions work. As the PBs have been designed, we will hardly see large institutional changes, since they are conceived outside the great political nodes in the administrations. If we say that institutional design matters, it is because we find it difficult to think of social change without changing institutions. The PB has been designed in most of the experiences at the margins of institutions, it is that peripheral character that weakens their possibilities of change. Even so, we understand that the very dynamics involved in a participatory budget activates the political imagination of the participants towards less neoliberal logics and, in many cases, leads them to challenge the limits imposed by the promoters of experiences.

Perhaps if the PB is repeated much will be able to generate a political imaginary that serves as the basis for more substantive experiences. Perhaps, also, it only serves to tarnish a new experiment that promised a lot and was unable to face the oligarchical logics of neoliberalism. In any case, participation as a tool does not pose any challenge in its development. There are innumerable techniques capable of converging the lot with participation in the assembly or in a digital environment. The problem is the political perspective that frames participation and everything that implies in a political scenario dominated by neoliberalism: autonomy and horizontality. That is the political radicalism of the project and in turn the great dilemma for political representatives, whether of the left or right. Do we want really radical democratic institutions?

Gianpolo Baiocchi is associate professor of individualized studies and sociology, as well as director of the Urban Democracy Lab and Civic Engagement at the, Gallatin School, New York University.

Ernesto Ganuza is a researcher at the Centre for Advanced Social Studies, Spanish National Research Council (IESA- CSIC) in Cordoba, Spain.

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Rapport de diffusion: Gouverner dans et contre l’austérité

Nous sommes ravis de publier notre rapport intitulé Gouverner dans et contre l’austérité. Le rapport présente les premiers résultats de nos enquêtes sur le gouvernance d’austérité en huit villes: Athènes, Baltimore, Barcelone, Dublin, Leicester, Melbourne, Montréal et Nantes.

Nous accueillons chaleureusement les commentaires et les commentaires, vous pouvez télécharger le document sur l’hyperlien ci-dessus.

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Austerity Diasporas: Portuguese-British Identity

Lisa Rodan continues our “Austerity Diasporas” series, with a third post related to her ongoing PhD research into the experiences of Portuguese migrants affected by the 2008 crash and ensuing austerity. The first post focused on social changes leading up to the 2011 Austerity measures. In the second post, Lisa described the influence of migration on Portuguese culture and history, sharing some of the main messages emerging from her fieldwork with migrants in the UK. This post focuses on some of the challenges of living in London, and its impact upon migrant’s identities.

Sitting in the parents’ room of the paediatric intensive care ward at Kings College Hospital in south London, I was only dimly aware of the irony that my first week of fieldwork on Portuguese migrants in London had been indefinitely postponed whilst a Portuguese surgeon operated on my son’s spine. I had left my baby with a Jamaican nurse, Irish anaesthetist, Indian plastic surgeon and Portuguese and Lebanese neurosurgeons and gone upstairs to wait whilst Nigerian cleaners tidied up around me and a small family of anxious looking Ecuadorians murmured amongst themselves. One of the cleaners brought cups of water over for both me and the trembling woman opposite and squeezed our hands. Any differences in our backgrounds, languages and histories seemed suspended far above the more relevant shared experience of why we were all in that small room on that muggy summer’s day.

The normality of this multicultural existence became an overarching theme throughout my subsequent year of fieldwork (which went ahead as planned thanks to Dr José and his colleagues). The Portuguese graduates of the EU generation, arriving with degrees and career aspirations, inhabited multinational, multi-ethnic and multilingual workplaces, house-shares and friendship groups. Their lives were different in many ways from earlier generations of Portuguese migrants to London who had created what one new arrival described to me as “my grandmother’s village trapped in time”.

That is not to say there is a lack of common experiences and references between the university- educated, cosmopolitan millennials and the long-established Portuguese communities of Stockwell, who socialise in Portuguese cafes and shop in Portuguese supermarkets. Many of the former group also have family within the latter community. Yet by virtue of their educational attainments and a certain value-set formed out of the relative prosperity of Portugal in the 1990s have made a conscious decision to pursue the career opportunities which are the most seductive element of London living. The desire to use their educations to achieve recognition of their professional skills as well as a certain quality of life they once hoped for back home is still a possibility in London.

The price is high: loneliness and struggle are constant demons. Everyone knows somebody who ‘couldn’t hack it’ and went home. But for those who are still here, whether they are part of the initial wave of post-austerity refugees who have managed to carve out a niche in their chosen sector, or newer arrivals for whom London remains a land of opportunities, there is a certain pride in having learned how to handle the pace of life- they have become Londoners.

Becoming a ‘Londoner’ in this sense doesn’t mean becoming less Portuguese- the importance of seeking out spaces of ‘Portugueseness’ is an essential part of their lives. Many frame it as a need to escape the ‘coldness’ of the English character. This perception is worthy of a blog post in itself. For now, perhaps things can be more easily understood by looking at it as a longing for familiar cultural references. Regular meetups with Portuguese friends (the majority made since arriving in London or via old acquaintances and friends of friends pulled together by Facebook) are regularly set up and the Little Portugal enclave in Stockwell plays a major role. Even those who describe it as a ‘different world’ from their own occasionally pop in, whether for enormous group feasting in the restaurants or to watch the Portuguese national team play a big match. Nevertheless, a frequent refrain is the realisation of a feeling that one is increasingly more at home within the Portuguese expat community than in Stockwell or with the Portuguese back home who make them realise how English they have become.

It would be an injustice to suggest that life for educated Portuguese migrants does not have the difficulties of London life in general. Struggles with finding affordable housing, housemate conflicts and unscrupulous and exploitative agencies and employers are part of parcel of life here, especially for those who arrived with nothing more than their degree certificate and were attempting to work up to the job of their dreams via the counters of the chain coffee shops of central London. Those who were determined to stay in their area of study often ended up disillusioned by the challenge in finding a job which in Portugal would be have been beneath their skill-set.

As any parent knows, life completely changes with a new addition to the family. For new Portuguese parents, as for any new parent across London, comes the realisation that, whatever your story and hopes for the future, the arrival of a baby restricts access to many of the extra-curricular parts of the city that make the frantic lifestyle worth it and seem to throw conceptions of what exactly a ‘good life’ consists of into a new light. The lack of grandparents and family nearby suddenly is thrown into sharp focus and longings to go back increase. Taking the international experience gained in the hectic London career bubble and channelling it into a life of digital nomadism is a dream expressed by many people I met, especially those with young children.

Throughout my fieldwork the initial impact of Brexit lingered like an uninvited guest. It didn’t change anyone’s short-term plans but, like most Londoners, the overwhelming feeling was that of wait and see and have a plan B. After all, who was more aware of the importance EU citizens to the capital than those who have propped up the city’s economy? Be that as it may, the risk of whatever the fall-out might be can only add to the burnout already felt by many existing in the relentless consumerist cycle of working and living in one of the most expensive cities in the world. Nevertheless, many of my Portuguese colleagues have made a life here no less than any other Londoner of diverse and varied background, especially those who have partnered up with people from other nationalities. Some may return but many are planning to stay and weather the storm.

Lisa Rodan is a third year PhD student in Social Anthropology at the University of Kent where she is working with three colleagues on an ESRC funded project entitled Household Survival in Crisis: Austerity and Relatedness in Greece and Portugal.

For the past 12 months Lisa has been carrying out ethnographic interviews with university educated, Portuguese people in their 20s, 30s and early 40s in London, supplemented by time spent in Portugal where she has been lucky to meet some of their families. In a series of posts Lisa will share her initial analysis of some key themes arising from her fieldwork data, which she began to collect in June 2016 just after the Brexit vote. These encounters have ranged from one-off interviews to valued friendships and time spent with each other’s families. The content of the series will be a very close reading of fieldwork notes in their raw form. Lisa welcomes any input and suggestions from interested parties.

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Έκθεση προς διάλογο: Η διακυβέρνηση της λιτότητας και η αμφισβήτησή της

 

Βρισκόμαστε στην ευχάριστη θέση της δημοσιοποίησης της έκθεσης με τα πρώτα συμπεράσματα από το  ερευνητικό πρόγραμμα για τη διακυβέρνησης της λιτότητας.  Η έκθεση τιτλοφορείται Η διακυβέρνηση της λιτότητας και η αμφισβήτησή της και καταγράφει συνοπτικά τα ευρήματα της έρευνας στις οκτώ μελέτες περίπτωσης, την Αθήνα, τη Βαλτιμόρη, τη Βαρκελώνη, το Δουβλίνο, το Λέστερ, τη Μελβούρνη το Μόντρεαλ και τη Ναντ.

Σας προσκαλούμε να δείτε και να σχολιάσετε το σχετικό κείμενο, το οποίο μπορείτε να βρείτε στον παραπάνω διαδικτυακό τόπο.

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Informe divulgativo: gobernando dentro y contra la austeridad

Nos complace publicar y difundir nuestro informe para el proyecto Austerity Governance. Se titula “Gobernando en y contra la austeridad” y proporciona una visión general de los resultados iniciales de nuestros ocho estudios de casos sobre la gobernanza de la austeridad en Atenas, Baltimore, Barcelona, Dublín, Leicester, Melbourne, Montreal y Nantes.

Agradecemos sus comentarios y sugerencias. El documento se puede descargar en el enlace.

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