The Question of Money: State, Protest, and Informal Currencies in the Wake of Greece’s Economic Crisis


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships




Since the 2008 debt crisis, Greeks have relied on the circulation of multiple informal currencies, using exchange schemes such as barter, time banks, and mutual credit clearing to trade goods and services without euros. These solidarity economies help people reclaim community resources in response to the staggering inequalities precipitated by Greece’s government debt, privatization of public assets, structural reforms, and the devaluation of currency in the drachma-euro conversion. This dissertation explains how the circulation of currencies not recognized by the state shapes social and political life and understandings of money and value, and, in turn, redefines the boundaries of the nation in the context of a single European currency. As a case study of the Local Alternative Unit "TEM," this project analyzes the relationships between local governance and European unity, money and nation building, and the consequences of creating currency during crisis at local-informal and European levels.