chapter
Everyday economic narratives
ByLiam Stanley
Pages 5

Beyond the difficulties of enacting fiscal consolidation during an economic downturn, the projected continuation of austerity was in many ways unremarkable. In this chapter, the author focuses on how he uses focus group interviews with members of the public to understand consent to austerity in particular and the justification of economic ideas in general. This discussion takes place within wider methodological debates about emerging constructivist, everyday and 'analytical eclectic' approaches to political economy. Analysing everyday economic narratives can help craft responses to both specific research questions and the wider puzzles that make studying political economy so interesting. Constructivist scholarship tells us that the process of crisis management involves more than different actors or factions rationally responding to economic failure because failure is itself established through a highly contingent interpretive battle. No economic actor has access to the workings of the economy if only because their beliefs and actions stem from ideas about how the economy should work.