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Artikel von:
Jamie  Peck

Jamie Peck is Canada Research Chair in Urban & Regional Political Economy and Professor of Geography at the University of British Columbia. His research interests include the political economy of neoliberalization, policy mobility, economic governance, labor market theory and policy, and urban restructuring. His publications include Fast policy, Constructions of neoliberal reason, Contesting neoliberalism: urban frontiers, Workfare states,  and Work-place. Current research is concerned with transnational policy norms, metropolitan governance, and contingent labor.

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Austerity urbanism, the American way

The spoils of financialized economic growth never did trickle down, as the advocates of neoliberal governance always promised, but the pain of austerity certainly has. In the United States, state and local governments, and cities in particular, have been exposed to the full force of austerity’s extreme economy, exacerbating what have been long-gestating fiscal crises of the urban state. This radical devolution of austerity is calling attention to the essence of the strategy: austerity, rather like the ideology of neoliberalism itself, is something that is imposed upon less-powerful others; it is about determining and enforcing the rules by which others must live. The systematic dumping of risks, responsibilities, debts, and deficits to the local scale has become a hallmark of austerity urbanism, US-style. Neoliberal austerity measures operate »downwards« in scalar as well as social terms: they offload social and environmental externalities on cities, while at the same time enforcing unflinching fiscal restraint by way of extralocal disciplines; they further incapacitate the local state through the outsourcing, marketization, and privatization of public services; and they concentrate both costs and burdens on those at the bottom of the social hierarchy, compounding economic marginalization with state abandonment. Cities, in other words, are the places where austerity bites. (…)