Orchestrating Austerity

Impacts and Resistance

Edited by Donna Baines and Stephen McBride  

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Following the 2007–08 global financial crisis, Western nations engaged a variety of measures that departed quite dramatically from conventional neoliberal wisdom. However, these policies were quickly succeeded by what we now call “austerity” measures. This collection engages with the question: Is there something new in this era of austerity, or should this be understood as a continuation and intensification of earlier forms of neoliberalism? Finally, Jim Stanford’s afterword probes to the heart of the question of why austerity in the first place.

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  • Introduction (Donna Baines & Stephen McBride)
  • “In Austerity We Trust” (Stephen McBride)
  • Structural Adjustment for the North (Robert O’Brien & Falin Zhang)
  • The Strategic Use of Budget Crisis (Ellen Russell)
  • Neoliberalism, Inequality and Austerity in Rich World Democracies (John Peters)
  • Austerity, Gender Equality and Canadian Unions (Linda Briskin with Sue Genge, Margaret McPhail & Marion Pollack)
  • Social Democracy in the New Age of Austerity (Bryan Evans)
  • Neoliberalism and Austerity as Class Struggle (Eric Pineault)
  • Bridging the Gap (Wayne Lewchuk, Sam Vrankulj & Michelynn Laflèche)
  • Austerity Now, Poverty Later (Rachel Zhou)
  • Austerity, Job Training and Aboriginal People (Shauna MacKinnon)
  • Minority Nationalism in a Time of Austerity (Peter Graefe & Brent Toye)
  • P3s and the Value for Money Illusion (Heather Whiteside)
  • Ideology in the Classroom (Andy Hanson)
  • Care Work in the Non-Profits (Donna Baines)
  • Why Austerity? (Jim Stanford)
  • Bibliography


  • Donna Baines

    McMaster University

    Donna Baines holds the Chair in Social Work and Policy Studies and is a Professor at the University of Sydney, Australia. Prior to this appointment, she taught labour studies and social work for 15 years at McMaster University. In 2006-07, she was Visiting Scholar, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia.

    Donna’s teaching interests include social movements and advocacy, social policy, globalization and restructuring and social justice. Her research interests focus on the impact of restructuring on work in the human services, particularly in the social services; race, class, and gender in everyday social service work; social services work and unions; caring labour; radical social work practice and theory including feminist social work; gendered and racialized impacts of restructuring work, particularly in the social services; anti-racist social work; post modern social work; women and social policy; and structural social work.

    Donna has published extensively, in a wide variety of areas, including restructuring, health and safety, bullying, the organization of work for social workers, and social service public policy. Her articles have appeared in Social Work, Journal of Health and Safety, Women and Work, Australian Social Work, Social Justice and Studies in Political Economy, among several other journals. Donna is also editor of Doing Anti-Oppressive Practice. Building Transformative, Politicized Social Work.

    Donna is also a board member of Ferncliff Daycare and After School Programme, as well as a member in Canadian Association of Schools of Social Work, Progressive Economics Forum, Society for Socialist Studies, National Activist School Planning Project and Flying Flamingo Sisters.

  • Stephen McBride


    Stephen McBride, Professor and Director of the Centre for Global Political Economy, specializes in political economy, and comparative public policy, and Canadian politics. He is the author of Not Working: State, Unemployment and Neo-conservatism in Canada (1992) which won the 1994 Smiley prize, and Paradigm Shift: Globalization and the Canadian State (2001; 2nd edition 2005). He is the co-author of Dismantling a Nation: Canada and the New World Order (1993; 2nd edition 1997) and several co-edited volumes: Global Turbulence: Social Activists’ and State Responses to Globalization (2003), Global Instability: Uncertainty and New Visions in Political Economy (2002), Globalization and its Discontents (2000), and Power in a Global Era (2000).

    Stephen McBride is a professor in the Department of Political Science and Canada Research Chair in public policy and globalization at McMaster University.

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