How do local governments cope with austerity, shocks and crises?

Date(s) - 22/11/2017
2:30 pm - 6:00 pm

Room 4.09 Newcastle University London 102 Middlesex Street, London, E1 7EZ

About How do local governments cope with austerity, shocks and crises?


A global perspective on governmental accountability and financial resilience.

Governments globally are increasingly being faced with diminishing resources and austerity, as well as ever-emerging crises and shocks that affect their public finances. This requires them to nurture the capacities needed to anticipate and cope with difficulties, while exploring new ways of being accountable and ensuring citizens’ participation. As such, financial resilience is increasingly becoming a way of being and behaving of governments. But what are the capacities needed to cope with difficult times? How can governments deploy and build them?

The workshop aims at bringing together academics, policy makers, the accounting professions, artists and public managers to discuss and contrast national and international experiences, by looking at how municipalities have faced recent crises and austerity.

The workshop will be an opportunity to discuss the book “Governmental financial resilience: International perspectives on how Local Governments face austerity”, recently edited by Ileana Steccolini, Martin Jones and Iris Saliterer and which presents 45 cases of local governments from 11 countries.

In the course of the workshop the video “The Austerity Playbook” will also be presented and discussed. The Austerity Playbook is a musical piece illustrating how Newcastle was affected by austerity, what the role of the city council was, and how the live experience of its citizens resonate with the broader political and accountability landscape. Based on research by Laurence Ferry and Ileana Steccolini, this unique piece stems from the collaboration between jazz composer Andrea Vicari, writer Mark O’Thomas and director André Pink.

Discussions around the book and play will allow us to share possible lessons for the future.


2:30pm – Welcome
2:40pm –  The Austerity Playbook (Prologue)
3:00pm –  Irvine Lapsley (Edinburgh University), “Austerity”
3:30pm –  Panel “Coping with crises and difficult times: governmental capacities and accountability”

Speakers: Authors from the book “Governmental financial resilience”, researchers from “The Austerity Playbook”, policy makers, LG representatives and professional associations.

Confirmed panellists:

Roland Almqvist (Associate Professor, Stockholm University)
Carmela Barbera (Lecturer, Bergamo University)
Celine Duboys (Associate Professor, Aix-Marseille University)
Gillian Fawcett (Head of Governments Faculty, CIPFA)
Laurence Ferry (Professor, Durham University)
Martin Jones (Principal lecturer, Nottingham Trent University)
Sanja Korac (Assistant Professor, Alpen-Adria University)
Rebecca McCaffry (Associate Technical Director, Chartered Institute of Management Accountants)
Aileen Murphy (Director, DCLG and Local Government Value for Money, NAO)
Andrew Muter (CEO at Newark and Sherwood)
Mark O’Thomas (Pro Vice Chancellor, Greenwich University)
Tom Overmans (Assistant professor, Utrecht University)
David Pye (Programme Manager- Research, Research & Information, Local Government Association)
Iris Saliterer (Professor, Freiburg University)
Ileana Steccolini (Professor, Newcastle University London)

5:00pm – Discussion and Concluding thoughts

5:30pm –  Refreshments and “The Austerity Playbook” (Epilogue)

Note: The above event is kindly funded by ESRC IAA, which was awarded to Professor Ileana Steccolini (Newcastle University) and Professor Laurence Ferry (Durham University).