This seminar is serving to launch Who Needs the Cuts: Myths of Economic Crisis, recently launched in the UK, and framing a discussion of austerity's NZ context.

Widespread cuts to public sectors and social benefits mark this out as an international age of austerity. Post-war gains in welfare states are being rolled back and the political commitment to social protection is fast being eroded. The overwhelming narrative that drives this international project is that of debt crisis and fiscal emergency – it drowns out even the voices of at least four Nobel economists who argue 'growth now, deficit later' (Krugman).

Is there a fiscal or debt crisis - how would you know? Where is the public argument? Why are we accepting of the logic that says economics should govern our choices – instead of debating what kind of society we want and then asking economics to deliver that? How are we supposed to work out as a citizenry what counts as public value?

David Mayes and Nigel Haworth give their views of contemporary political economy. David is Professor of Accounting and Finance and Director of the Europe Institute; Nigel is Head of the Department of Management and International Business. Each will start with a response to a brief introduction to Who Needs the Cuts: Myths of Economic Crisis. One of the book's authors is Saville Kushner, Professor of Public Evaluation at the University's Faculty of Education, and he will explain the analysis in the book giving an alternative to that of 'crisis'. Professors Mayes and Haworth will offer a commentary of the relevance (or otherwise) of the analysis to the New Zealand context and elsewhere.

Join us in Case Room 2, 260-157, University of Auckland, on Thursday June 6th at 6.00pm to hear these perspectives and engage in the discussion. You can register here.