On Wednesday, November 28, I gave a book presentation on Europe’s Crisis of Legitimacy: Governing by Rules and Ruling by Numbers to staff and students in the University of Birmingham’s Department of Political Science and International Studies (POLSIS). The presentation took place as part of the department’s student enhancement activities and in conjunction with the REPRESENT network of scholars in Birmingham and Nottingham.
‘It was a great pleasure and privilege for staff and students in Birmingham to hear directly from such an eminent scholar of the EU about her new landmark publication that explores not just questions of legitimacy linked to the Eurozone crisis, but also offers prescriptions for how the EU can be governed better and meet current and future challenges’.
My talk was entitled, “Legitimacy Lost, but then Regained? EU Governance during the Eurozone Crisis, the Migration Crisis, and the Covid-19 Pandemic.”
The abstract of the talk is as follows:
Unlike in ‘Paradise Lost’, the EU committed no original sin of commission, but it did commit a number of sins of omission over the past decade that cast doubt on its legitimacy. When the Eurozone crisis hit, instead of common solutions promoting prosperity for all, the European Union ended up ‘governing by rules and ruling by numbers’ in the Eurozone, resulting in excessive economic hardship in some countries and rising populist Euroscepticism everywhere. When the migration crisis hit, instead of fully addressing the humanitarian concerns, the EU stuck to the Schengen area rules that didn’t work, as some member-states barricaded their borders, and populism flourished. In both crises, the legitimacy of the EU’s governing activities—procedural, performative, and political—were in question, as the poor quality of EU governance undermined policy performance while generating increasingly toxic politics. In the Covid-19 crisis, these policies were reversed, as the EU sought common solutions while suspending the rules for economic and migration policy. So does this mean that the response to Covid-19 represents ‘Paradise Regained’? Professor Schmidt will provide preliminary answers to this question as she discusses the nature, scope, and dilemmas of legitimacy for the EU in the midst its many crises.
On October 14, I joined the GLOBE Webinar Series at the Leuven Center for Global Governance Studies to discuss my new book, Europe’s Crisis of Legitimacy: Governing by Rules and Ruling by Numbers in the Eurozone. Prof. Carlos Closa Montero (EUI, CSIC) offered some reflections for discussion before opening to questions from the audience. The discussion, which was attended by over 100 people, was moderated by Kari Otteburn (KU Leuven).
On Tuesday, October 6, I presented my book, Europe’s Crisis of Legitimacy: Governing by Rules and Ruling by Numbers, for a virtual seminar at the Center for European Studies at Harvard University. The event took place as part of Worldwide Week at Harvard. Jane Mansbridge, Adams Professor of Political Leadership and Democratic Values at the Harvard Kennedy School, was the Discussant, and Karl Kaiser, Fellow at the Project on Europe and the Transatlantic Relationship at the Kennedy’s School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, was the moderator. We had a lively discussion, with over 65 people in attendance on the zoom platform.
On Saturday, October 3, I took part in a panel discussion on the future of the global economy. The discussion was part of a series of Alumni Weekend presentations entitled “World in Flux.” Some of the questions we discussed were the future of international development, whether COVID-19 will be the tipping point in a restructuring of the global economic system, and whether pandemic recovery efforts will put the world on a path toward a greener economy.
The other speakers were Kevin Gallagher, Pardee School Professor of Global Development Policy & Director, Global Development Policy Center and Perry Mehrling, Pardee School Professor of International Political Economy. The session was moderated by Adil Najam, Dean of the Pardee School.
On Thursday, September 17, I took part in a webinar organized by BU’s Center for the Study of Europe to promote my new book, Europe’s Crisis of Legitimacy: Governing by Rules and Ruling by Numbers in the Eurozone. My presentation was followed by remarks by Mark Blyth, William R. Rhodes ’57 Professor of International Economics and Professor of Political Science and International and Public Affairs at Brown University; Vlad Perju, Director of the Clough Center for the Study of Constitutional Democracy at Boston College and Professor of Law at Boston College Law School; and Philomila Tsoukala, Professor of Law at Georgetown Law. The event was moderated by Daniela Caruso, Professor of Law and current Director of the Center.
On Tuesday, September 15, I presented Europe’s Crisis of Legitimacy: Governing by Rules and Ruling by Numbers in the Eurozone for the European Union (EU) Commission’s Directorate General for Economics and Finance (DG ECFIN).
The session was introduced by Marco Buti, Director-General for Economic and Financial Affairs at the European Commission and was moderated by Leila Fernandez-Stembridge, DG ECFIN Deputy Head of Unit of Inter-Institutional Relations and Communication.
The book examines the interrelationship between democratic legitimacy at the European level and the ongoing Eurozone crisis that began in 2010. In my remarks, I also discussed the current pandemic and showed how EU has indeed learned its lessons from the past decade
Yesterday, August 5, I participated in a three-person panel discussion yesterday on “Capitalism in a time of Pandemic.” The videoconference was the fifth in a cycle of conferences on “The End of an Era: Where is politics going?” organized by the Universidad de Diego Portales and the Chilean Office of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Santiago.
Joining me on the panel were Kenneth Roberts, Professor of Political Science at Cornell University and an expert on Latin American Politics, and Nicolas Eyzaguirre, the former Finance Minister during the government of Ricardo Lago and the second government of Michelle Bachelet in Chile.
My comments in response to a series of three questions were all focused on Europe, and in particular whether this time was different for the EU in terms of the resilience of neo-liberal economic policies, meaning today’s pandemic in contrast with the Eurozone crisis, the role of technocrats in the EU, and the future of Green politics and the transition to more sustainable environmental policy.
My book examines the interrelationship between democratic legitimacy at the European level and the ongoing Eurozone crisis that began in 2010. Using the lens of democratic theory, it examines the crisis in terms of the policies, politics, and processes surrounding it, and the nature and interactions of elements that scholars and policy analysts tend to deal with separately. These include the political-economic structures and policies that contribute to the economic (output) performance, the political institutions and interactions that affect the (input) politics, and the governance rules and networks that make up the (throughput) processes.
On Wednesday, June 24, alongside Prof. Mahrukh Doctor from the University of Hull, I participated in a panel discussion entitled “Comparing Patchwork Responses to Pandemic,” the first of a virtual nine-week lecture series on the theme of “Politics in the Time of Global Pandemic,” co-sponsored by the Ford Hall Forum and the WGBH Forum and presented by Suffolk University’s Political Science & Legal Studies Department. In my remarks, I discussed how to assess the legitimacy of governments’ crisis responses in the US at both the federal and state levels and in Europe at the EU and member state levels. The panel was moderated by Prof. Sebastián Royo from Suffolk University.
A recording of the event will be available here once it is processed by WGBH.