Trouble in the Eurozone: Whose Crisis?
TROUBLE IN THE EUROZONE: WHOSE CRISIS?
An article by Dr Ben Richardson, Politics and International Studies
The subject of the fifth annual Warwick RIPE debate was the intellectual challenge brought about by the Euro crisis. In this article, Dr Ben Richardson introduces presentations by Professor Brigitte Young (University of Muenster), Professor Magnus Ryner (Oxford Brookes University) and Dr Ben Clift (University of Warwick), all of which can also be listened to as audio podcasts below.
Crisis is often understood in two senses: as an imminent threat requiring immediate intervention, and as the inevitable breakdown of a system resulting in fundamental change. In the case of the Eurozone crisis, we seem to have oscillated between the two. When fragile governments have failed to pass unpopular austerity bills or financial companies refused to write-off some of their loans, the media have invoked an urgent sense of peril. “Eurozone plunged into fresh crisis”, “Investors dump bonds as fears intensify” and “Prepare for riots in Euro collapse” are typical examples. The precise pathology of these recurrent emergencies, however, has been harder to pin down. This is where academics – able to step back from the tumult of daily events – have something to offer. Thinking about why the breakdown of the Eurozone began, what made this so intractable, and, crucially, who has been affected by its malaise remain vital contributions in guiding the kind of fundamental change that is both possible and preferable for European economies in its wake.
It was precisely these questions that were tackled in the recent Warwick RIPE debate on “Trouble in the Eurozone: Whose Crisis?". In an audio interview recorded prior to the debate, Professor Brigitte Young (University of Münster) and Professor Magnus Ryner (Oxford Brookes University) responded to questions posed by doctoral students in Warwick’s Department of Politics and International Studies. These included issues on: the management of current account imbalances, the future of the ‘privatised Keynesianism’ growth model, and gendered perspectives on finance and macroeconomic governance (questions for Prof. Young); and the EU’s position in the world economy, the reform of welfare provision and public spending under the New Fiscal Compact, and the return of wage-led growth as opposed to export-led growth in Germany (questions for Prof. Ryner).
In the debate itself, Prof. Young spoke of the intellectual tradition of ordo-liberalism which has underpinned Germany’s policies of fiscal rectitude and rules-based governance for the Eurozone, while Prof. Ryner considered the reasons why many scholars of EU integration overlooked the contradictions embedded within the single currency project. Finally, the third debate participant, Dr Ben Clift (University of Warwick), looked at the changing role of the International Monetary Fund in managing balance of payments problems and providing the public good of global financial stability.
Listen to audio podcasts from the event below.
Pre-debate discussion chaired by Dr Ben Richardson:
Professor Brigitte Young (University of Münster):
Professor Magnus Ryner (Oxford Brookes University):
Dr Ben Clift (University of Warwick):
Ben Richardson is an Assistant Professor in the University of Warwick’s Department of Politics and International Studies. His research interests relate to the international political economy of development. His work is concerned with the production and exchange of commodities and the North-South politics in which this is embedded.
Brigitte Young has been a professor of International/Comparative Political Economy, Institute of Political Science, University of Muenster, Germany, since 1999. She studied International Political Economy at the University of California and received her PhD at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. In 2007 Prof Young was appointed to the Warwick Commission on the Future of the Global Trade Regime with 12 international experts in trade and global governance. Her research areas include globalisation and global governance; transformation of the world economy, trade and financial markets; trade and multilateralism, International political economy, feminist macroeconomics.
Magnus Ryner obtained his PhD at York Univeristy, Toronto, Canada, and has been affiliated with the Swedish Centre of Working Life (Stockholm), University of Amsterdam, European University Institute (Florence), Brunel University, the University of Birmingham and the Copenhagen Business School. He has a broad training in economics, international relations and political science and he works within the fields of international and comparative political economy. His current research is primarily on global political economy, the European Union, and the future of the 'social model' of capitalism. As part of this research agenda, he explores the relationship between America and Europe in a changing world order, the prospects of Europen Social and Christian Democracy, distributive relations between factors of production, the limitations of European integration theory and the prospects of political economy alternatives.
Ben Clift is Senior Lecturer in International Political Economy in the Department for Politics and International Studies at the University of Warwick. His research interests lie in comparative and international political economy, and he has published widely on French and comparative capitalisms, the politics of economic ideas, capital mobility and economic policy autonomy, the political economy of social democracy, and French and British politics in journals including The British Journal of Political Science, Journal of Common Market Studies, The Journal of European Public Policy, The Review of International Political Economy, New Political Economy, Party Politics, and Political Studies. He is co-editor (with Cornelia Woll) of a special issue of The Journal of European Public Policy entitled 'Economic Patriotism: Political Intervention in Open Markets'.
Also on the Knowledge Centre
Related WRAP Articles
Clift, Ben (2012) Comparative capitalisms, ideational political economy and French post-dirigiste responses to the global financial crisis. New Political Economy . ISSN 1356-3467 (In Press) Access to file(s) may be restricted.
Clift, Ben (2012) Economic patriotism, the clash of capitalisms, and state aid in the European Union. Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade . ISSN 1566-1679 (Submitted) Access to file(s) may be restricted.