From crisis to gentrination
It would be tempting to brush off these developments as tips of the austerity iceberg: Greece, after all, has been read as anything from a crisis scapegoat to a villain, but has always been positioned in the eye of the fiscal storm that gripped Europe and much of the Global West from 2008-09 onward. Independent of their political viewpoint, analysts have for the largest part read this unabated crisis through existing units of power: that is, through the units of nation-states and national governments whether assigning them a weakened position (see, especially concerning the welfare state: Scott, 2013; concerning a shift in state regimes overall: Fujita, 2011) or a potentially empowered role (Bickerton, 2011; Therborn, 2009). Correspondingly, the discussion on either the EU “federalization” (Cloots, De Baere, & Sottiaux, 2012) or the empowerment of certain states at the expense of others nevertheless presupposes and reinforces the national as the scale of analysis.This editorial proposes another conceptualization both for the Eurozone crisis and potentially for the current wave of capitalist restructuring as a whole. It shows how political geographers have played a key role in grounding the abstraction of the fiscal crisis into its urban roots; and it argues that now, as the previously momentary crisis turns into a longer-lasting restructuring, we are met with an unprecedented opportunity: to build on the discipline’s knowledge of the flows and circuits of capital at the urban scale (as studied extensively in urban development and gentrification in particular) and through a shifting of this scale, to better comprehend the ongoing restructuring in supra-national capitalist development and governance. This editorial introduces gentrination as a conceptual tool that will potentially help in this direction.