The abstract of a paper, Austerity and Anarchy: Budget Cuts and Social Unrest in Europe, 1919-2009, that was submitted to the Centre for Economic Policy Research on July 20th, 2011:

Does fiscal consolidation lead to social unrest? From the end of the Weimar Republic in Germany in the 1930s to anti-government demonstrations in Greece in 2010-11, austerity has tended to go hand in hand with politically motivated violence and social instability. In this paper, we assemble cross- country evidence for the period 1919 to the present, and examine the extent to which societies become unstable after budget cuts. The results show a clear positive correlation between fiscal retrenchment and instability. We test if the relationship simply reflects economic downturns, and conclude that this is not the key factor. We also analyse interactions with various economic and
political variables. While autocracies and democracies show a broadly similar responses to budget cuts, countries with more constraints on the executive are less likely to see unrest as a result of austerity measures. Growing media penetration does not lead to a stronger effect of cut-backs on the level of
What's happening in the UK at this moment is not about flatscreen TVs. There is a history of this sort of thing. In our moment, the social disturbance finds itself expressed through the dominate form of social organization, neoliberal economics. The expression might have a different appearance, but the source of the resistance is the same throughout history.