The Eurozone Crisis: A Failure of Economics or Politics?


March 4th, 2013
53 Bay State Road

The Eurozone crisis is not just economic; it is also political. In addition to the economic problems related to the structure of the European Monetary Union, the fragility of the banks, countries’ losses in competitiveness, the current account imbalances, and the volatility of the markets, are the political ones. Eurozone policies and processes of crisis management have exacerbated rather than solved the economic problems at the same time that they have intensified long-standing problems related to the EU’s democratic legitimacy. The question is: Can these the economic problems be fixed without also fixing the political ones? And what is the way forward for democracy in Europe?

Vivien Schmidt is Jean Monnet Professor of European Integration, Professor of International Relations and Political Science at Boston University, and Founding Director of BU’s Center for the Study of Europe. Recent honors, fellowships, and awards include an honorary doctorate from the Free University of Brussels (ULB), Senior Visiting Research Scholar at the Free University of Berlin, and the prestigious Belgian Franqui Interuniversity Chair held at the Free University of Brussels and Louvain. Prof. Schmidt has also been a visiting professor or scholar at Sciences-Po Paris, LUISS in Rome, Oxford, Cambridge, the Copenhagen Business School, and the European University Institute. She has published widely on European political economy, institutions, and democracy, including the forthcoming Resilient Liberalism: European Political Economy through Boom and Bust (co-edited, Cambridge 2013), Debating Political Identity and Legitimacy in the European Union (co-edited, Routledge 2011), Democracy in Europe (Oxford 2006), and The Futures of European Capitalism (Oxford 2002).

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