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8 The Aesthetics of Fiscal Consolidation

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on the issue of fiscal consolidation and begins by noting that it has been traditionally discussed with reference to its economic, political-economic, and political dimensions. It also focuses on one specific instance of fiscal consolidation: that carried out by the Monti government in Italy between November 2011 and December 2012. The author argues that the aesthetics of fiscal consolidation in that specific instance coincided with aesthetics of new Italian premier and his cabinet. By addressing fiscal consolidation as a public issue one may come to an aspect that, so far, has been completely overlooked by analysts; fiscal consolidation as a cultural matter. Economic life relies on an aesthetic order which dictates when economic behaviour is acceptable, agreeable, or worthy of admiration and when instead it is unacceptable or even disgusting. The recent European sovereign debt crisis has intensified the public debate over the issue.

Keywords: aesthetics; cultural matter; economic life; fiscal consolidation; Monti government; political-economic dimensions



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