Current Institutional Affiliation
Adjunct Lecturer, Anthropology, City University of New York (CUNY) / Graduate Center

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2016
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Anthropology, City University of New York (CUNY) / Graduate Center
The Question of Money: State, Protest, and Informal Currencies in the Wake of Greece’s Economic Crisis

Since the 2008 government debt crisis Greeks have relied on the circulation of multiple informal currencies—trading goods and services without euros. These social and solidarity economies seek to reclaim community resources for local citizens in protest of the staggering inequalities precipitated by Greece's rising government debt, privatization of public assets, and structural reforms. People use local exchange trading schemes like barter, time banks, and mutual credit clearing, and crypto currencies like bitcoin and free coin just to survive in a context where coinage is scarce. Many users describe these markets as worlds of abundance, where solidarity rather than profit is the invisible hand driving exchange. This multi-sited research examines how the circulation of multiple currencies not recognized by the state shape social and political life and understandings of money and value. It analyzes how Greeks and migrants use local currencies to redefine the boundaries of nation in the context of a single European currency. Using extended case analysis, interviews, participant observation, and periodical and online database analysis over a period of 12 months, this dissertation will examine how communities in Greece struggle against the dominant monetary order.