Debt and Austerity


Debt and Austerity

Implications of the Financial Crisis

9781839104343 Edward Elgar Publishing
Edited by Jodi Gardner, Fellow of Law, St John's College, University of Cambridge, Mia Gray, University Senior Lecturer, School of Geography and Fellow of Girton College, University of Cambridge and Katharina Moser, Lecturer, Birmingham Law School, University of Birmingham, UK
Publication Date: November 2020 ISBN: 978 1 83910 434 3 Extent: c 288 pp
This book explores the complex interactions between debt and austerity, analysing the social, economic, and legal implications of governments’ responses to the 2008 financial crisis.

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This book explores the complex interactions between debt and austerity, analysing the social, economic, and legal implications of governments’ responses to the 2008 financial crisis.
Demonstrating how the nature of debt for those on low incomes has changed radically over the last decade, the chapters provide insight into how structural inequality was exacerbated by changes in the redistributive state, the legal system, and the welfare system. The examination occurs on a number of levels and these issues are explored through the lens of power, place, and class. The authors utilize both international case studies and 'on the ground' experiences, reviewing the role of high cost credit, bailiffs, local governments, bankruptcy and debt advice. Through the analysis of the nature and structure of debt in specific countries, it highlights important lessons for a global audience.
This unique book offers a broad, multi-faceted insight into the issue of low-income debt which will greatly benefit academics in law, social policy, geography and economics. Its focus on practical steps and potential reforms, as well as contributions from third sector organizations, will also interest practitioners, policy makers and NGOs.
Critical Acclaim
‘As problems of debt and overindebtedness loom large in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, this rich and interdisciplinary collection of essays provides timely insights into the theoretical, policy and practical issues in addressing problems of debt and low income in contemporary society.’
– Iain Ramsay, University of Kent, UK

‘As low and moderate-income households become ever more dependent on debt to survive this historic COVID-19 pandemic, this book identifies the real culprits who have made these debt burdens grow faster than they should have. The authors show how austerity is leading to the opposite of its intended outcome as privatized troubles become public burdens. Laying the groundwork for targeted debt forgiveness, these accomplished scholars offer a pathway out of the crisis into a more prosperous and just future.’
– Frederick F. Wherry, Princeton University, US and Founding Director, the Dignity and Debt Network
Contributors include: S. Davies, A. Finney, J. Gardner, J. Grace, M. Gray, A.-S. Henrikson, J. Montgomerie, K. Möser, K. Rowlingson, S.J. Smith, M. Sparkes, J. Spooner, S. Strong, S. Williams


Foreword by Sir Ross Cranston

Part 1: Nature of the Problem
Chapter 1: Understanding Low-Income Debt in a High-Income Country
Mia Gray, Katharina Möser and Jodi Gardner

Chapter 2: Mortgage Debt in an Age of Austerity
Susan J. Smith

Chapter 3: Debt Begets Debt: Austerity Britain and the Contraction of the Safety Net
Mia Gray

Chapter 4: Austerity and Financial Safety Nets: Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Bank Protection in Irish Post-Crisis Policy?
Joseph Spooner

Chapter 5: The Changing Infrastructure of Debt Relief: Privatisation, Bureaucracy and Public Choice
Katharina Möser

Chapter 6: ‘I just felt responsible for my debts’: Debt Stigma and Class(ificatory) Exploitation
Matthew Sparkes

Chapter 7: Austere Social Reproduction and the Gendered Geographies of Debt
Sam Strong

Part 2: Nature of the Solution
Chapter 8: The Poverty Premium and Debt
Sara Davies and Andrea Finney

Chapter 9: High Cost Credit in the UK: what’s the problem and how should policy respond?
Karen Rowlingson

Chapter 10: The Rise and Rise of Affordability Complaints
Sara Williams

Chapter 11: Consumer Protection Against Debt Problems and the Image of the Consumer in Swedish Consumer Credit Regulation
Ann-Sofie Henrikson

Chapter 12: Partnering to Address Financial Exclusion in Australia
Jordan Grace

Chapter 13: Relief from Austerity: The Case for a Targeted Write-off of the UK’s Household Debt Stock
Johnna Montgomerie

Chapter 14: Austerity, Inequality and High-Cost Credit: Understanding the Role of a Social Minimum
Jodi Gardner


This title is available for institutional purchase via Elgaronline.

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eISBN: 978 1 83910 435 0
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