Asia Europe Journal

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 125–139 | Cite as

The euro crisis, euro reform, and the problem of hegemony

  • Gerard Strange
Original Paper


The article applies the contested concept of hegemony to the euro and the eurozone crisis of 2009–12 to critically scrutinise the parameters and limits of the euro reform process. Conceptualising the euro as a ‘public good’ designed to help stabilise and legitimise the EU’s regional market order is a useful ideational starting point for critical inquiry, one that is in line with hegemonic stability theory. However, drawing on neo-Gramscian theory, the article contends that, in practice, the euro has been self-limited through its ‘external’ and ‘internal’ embedding in a neoliberal form of ‘minimal hegemony’. While the reform process has achieved some notable stabilising changes to the support structures and governance of the euro, nevertheless, reform has largely failed to tackle fundamental problems at the heart of the euro’s tendency towards crisis: the single currency’s subordination to a global financial regime dominated by neoliberalism, Germany’s neo-mercantilist dominance of the eurozone economy and fundamental differences of macroeconomic conceptualisation and preferences between the eurozone’s core states, France and Germany. The article critically scrutinises developments in eurozone monetary policy in the wake of the crisis to demonstratively argue that the euro remains locked in to a form of minimal hegemony that constrains the development of the euro as a ‘deep and genuine’ public good.


Euro European Union Hegemony Crisis Leadership Germany 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Western AustraliaCrawleyAustralia

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