16 Eur. J.L. Reform 679 (2014)
A Crisis beyond Law, or a Crisis of Law: Reflections on the European Economic Crisis

handle is hein.journals/ejlr16 and id is 687 raw text is: A Crisis Beyond Law, or a Crisis of Law?
Reflections on the European Economic Crisis
loannis Glinavos*
Abstract
This paper attempts to locate the place of law in debates on the economic crisis. It
suggests that law is the meeting point of politics and economics, not simply the
background to market operations. It is suggested therefore that the law should be
seen as the conduit of the popular will through political decision making onto eco-
nomic systems and processes. The paper argues that the crisis can be seen as being
the consequence of the dis-embedding of the political from the economic, and it is
this distance that causes legal frameworks to operate in unsatisfactory ways. With
this theoretical basis, the paper examines the sovereign debt crisis in Europe. The
European debt crisis in general and the plight of Greece in particular show why
plasticity in policy making is necessary and also reveal why current orthodox solu-
tions to economic calamities fail. The inflexibility of the neoclassical understanding
of the state-market relationship does not allow for avenues out of crisis that are
both theoretically coherent and politically welcome. Such realisations form the
basis of the examination of the rules framing the Eurozone. This paper, after con-
ducting an investigation of exit points from the Eurozone, condemns the current
institutional framework of the EU, and especially the EMU as inflexible and inade-
quate to deal with the stress being placed on Europe by the crisis.
Keywords: Eurozone, economic crisis, Greece, debt, Grexit.
A Introduction
Since 2008, the world in general and Europe in particular has existed in a state of
continuous crisis. From the collapse of Lehman Brothers, to the credit crunch, to
single, double, and triple dip recessions, from collapses in production, trade and
consumer confidence to the sovereign debt crisis and austerity, it seems like we
have lived through six years of unending bad news. Reflections on the role of law
in the midst of this multifaceted crisis have ranged from viewing law as the
source of the problem to envisaging law as a solution. Perhaps, some even argue,
this crisis is post-law; it demonstrates the irrelevance of regulatory frameworks
and legal rules in the era of global financialised capitalism. This paper seeks to
explore the role of law in the crisis, envisaging law as occupying the space where
*   Dr loannis Glinavos is Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Westminster,
i.glinavos@westminster.ac.uk.

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