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Between Realism and RevoltGoverning Cities in the Crisis of Neoliberal Globalism$
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Jonathan Davies

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781529210910

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781529210910.001.0001

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Austerity and State Rescaling

Austerity and State Rescaling

(p.71) 3 Austerity and State Rescaling
Between Realism and Revolt

Jonathan S. Davies

Policy Press

The story of austerity is entwined with experiments in city-regionalism, authoritarianism, fiscal and political centralisation and downloading or scalar dumping. Interpenetrating institutional, territorial and scalar restructurings have significant implications for politics and governing cultures, and relations between local states and citizens. This chapter focuses on the evolving powers and liabilities accruing to sub-national governments in the period since the Global Financial Crisis, read through revenue streams, fiscal rules and changes to spatial and jurisdictional capacities. The key finding across the eight cities is that municipalities face a variable and increasing mix of upward and downward constraints undermining their political capacity. Considered from the standpoint of governability, state rescaling in the period since the Crisis has tended to consolidate disciplinary neoliberalism, creating additional pressures on local governments to reinforce their tax bases through place-marketing. These processes also make cities more governable for national and provincial elites, pushing local state mechanisms into closer alignment with the administrative and financial priorities of upper tier apparatuses.

Keywords:   Rescaling, Municipal, Finance, Authoritarian, Centralisation, Dominance

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