Accepted paper:

The shadows of transparency: crisis policies and disobedient markets on the margins of Europe


Asta Vonderau (Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany)

Paper short abstract:

This paper analyses the material forms and effects of local crisis policies in Lithuania, which aim to fight the shadow economy of open air markets and to Europeanise these supposedly unregulated spaces.

Paper long abstract:

The paper ethnographically documents the introduction of cash registers in Lithuanian open air markets, and discusses them as an example for saving and transparency policies propagated in the country in order to overcome the economic crisis. It shows how open air markets and vendors active on such markets (traditionally perceived as unruly spaces and individuals, respectively) are politically contructed and publicly represented as territories and communities of shadow and missing transparency.

Furthermore, the paper observes the negotiations and resistances which emerge during this process, and which contest official notions of ‚shadow' and ‚transparency'. Pointing out the intended and unintended material effects of these policies, it demonstrates how forms of European neoliberal governmentality and subjectivity are spread following the rhetorics and politics of crisis, and it also questions the assumed omnipresence and effectiveness of these ideological models.

panel P03
The parliament of crisis: the saving of the European market and its effects