European Economists for an Alternative Economic Policy in Europe
|Call for Papers and Participation
24th Annual Conference on Alternative Economic Policy in Europe
10 years into the crisis – What prospects for a popular political economy in Europe?
extended SUBMISSION-Date: 31.5.2018
This year’s EuroMemo Group conference will be jointly hosted with the University of Helsinki and will take place on 27-29 September 2018 (Thursday-Saturday) at the University of Helsinki.
Against the background of an increasingly alarming influence of right-wing nationalist and populist forces, the conference wants to facilitate discussion on progressive ideas, concepts and policies, on how to reconstruct a political integration project in Europe that is responsive to the economic and social needs of all groups and people affected by the severe economic crisis of the last ten years, and in particular of workers, the unemployed, the precariat, migrants and other vulnerable groups, also in a gender perspective.
The programme will be as follows:
Thursday, September 27th 201
15.00 – 19.00 Opening plenary on the state of the Union
20.00 Conference Dinner
Friday, September 28th 2018
10.00 – 13.30 Workshops on key themes of EU policy
14.30 – 16.00 Plenary on policy proposals from workshops
16.15 – 18.00 Special plenary on the conference topic ’10 years into the crisis – What prospects for a popular political economy in Europe?’
Saturday, September 29th 2018
09.00 – 12.00 Planning meeting: EuroMemorandum 2019 and other activities
There will be a public event prior to the conference on September 27th 2018:
13.00 – 14.30 ‘The future of the EMU’ (organised by the University of Helsinki)
|We would like to invite you to attend the conference and to submit proposals for contributions to the workshops.
All papers that present an original perspective on the conference theme ’10 years into the crisis – What prospects for a popular political economy in Europe?’ are welcome. In particular, we encourage submissions that relate to recent European developments and are specific to one of the following topics
– Macroeconomic and financial policies
– Politics of structural reforms: critique and alternatives
– Economic and political divergences in the EU
– Social policies in Europe
– Migration policies and demographic change
– Nordic welfare model: crisis, erosion, prospects
– Crisis of the global political economy & world politics: the role of the EU (protectionism, trade wars)
– Conceptual frameworks and aspects of popular political economy as well as policy proposals for instance with respect to productive transformation, industrial policy, the solidarity economy etc.
– Socio-ecological transformation and a good life for all
– New democratic challenges to the status quo: what can we learn from the left-alliance government in Portugal, the labour party under Jeremy Corbyn, the Podemos project in Spain and other similar cases?
Proposals for papers together with a short abstract (maximum 250 words) should be submitted by 15 May 2018to firstname.lastname@example.org. If possible, please indicate the topic which the proposal is intended for. If accepted, completed papers should be submitted by 06 September 2018.
We strongly encourage participants to submit short papers (10-12 pages) and to explicitly address policy implications.
If you would like to submit an abstract and/ or participate in the conference, please copy the registration form below into an email and reply to email@example.com. Please note that there is no deadline for registering for participation only.
All submitted abstracts will be reviewed by the Steering Committee of the EuroMemo Group. Accepted papers will be published on the conference website and there is also the possibility to publish papers presented at the conference within the EuroMemo Group Discussion Paper Series.
|Please note that there will be a conference fee collected at the venue to cover the cost of the conference (30 Euro regular fee / 10 Euro for students / 80 Euro for participants with institutional support).
An information sheet with practical information including details about hotel bookings and transport is attached. Early booking is strongly recommended.
|We look forward to seeing you in Helsinki!
Marija Bartl, Joachim Becker, Marcella Corsi, Wlodzimierz Dymarski, Trevor Evans, Marica Frangakis, John Grahl, Peter Herrmann, Aimilia Koukouma, Jeremy Leaman, Jacques Mazier, Agustín Menéndez, Mahmood Messkoub, Ronen O’Brien, Werner Raza, Catherine Sifakis, Achim Truger, Frieder Otto Wolf
|European Economists for an Alternative Economic Policy in Europe
E-Mail >> firstname.lastname@example.org
Internet >> http://www.euromemo.eu
|Registration form for the 24th Workshop on Alternative Economic Policy in Europe
(please reply to email@example.com)
Yes, I intend to participate in the 24th Workshop on Alternative Economic Policy in Europe
(27-29 September 2018 in Helsinki)
Yes, I wish to contribute a paper
Title of the Paper:
Abstract (max. 250 words):
What to do with the revolution – and what does the revolution do to us?
The title of the following article is an allusion to the motto of attac’s coming Summer Academy
1918 – 1968 – 2018: In Favour of Change – That happened to the Revolution?
But the article presented here is about the orientation on the Battle for the Good Life, published on 23.12.’18, authored by Ulrich Brand. In our view, Brand takes up that SOAK motto by correctly pointing out that a revolution is already under way; however, in our view it is misleading to classify the change of life-style as any kind of revolution, being driven by such changes. Such arguments in favour of an anti-imperial way of life can be seen as new-Kantian categorical imperative:
Reasonable, conscious people of all countries, unite.
Instead of taking a sound economic analysis of global neoliberalism as point of departure, and deriving from there concrete plans to fight for a “good life”, Brand focuses on attitudes and behavioural patterns, suggesting that we reach from there a point leading almost inherently to the good life.
Admittedly, the path to a good life is naturally closely bound to patterns of everyday’s behaviour. The alternatives presented in the text by Brand – and also in the book which he elaborated with Markus Wissen – lead to a diffuse and individual, negative attitude, founded in and guided by “free will”. This can probably best be described as a denial of consumption: Consequently, we should not drive any SUV, not eat too much meat, preferably not fly, or at least limit this. The list can be continued, and all these quests are surely also commendable. But didn’t Adorno state already in his Minima Moralia that there is no real life in the wrong life. It may be that this statement comes – deliberately – eye-catching. Their basic content should, however, be changed in a constructive way so that structural preconditions, potentially leading to a good/better life, are developed from an analytical perspective – and this is especially true when addressing a readership such as the TAZ-constituency: the risk that dream images will be constructed which, at best, will settle the conscience. Just as the imperial way of life has been subjectively produced, reproduced and legitimised since the beginning of the 1990s at the latest, here the antithetical counter-conception is constructed in the same way.
Analogous to Lawrence Harrison’s “liberal” approach – he argues that underdevelopment is the result of a “mindset” (see Harrison, LE, 1985: Underdevelopment is a State of Mind, Lanham: Madison Books) – we find here a modified version: the breakout from the imperial way of life or from the global underdevelopment can also be the result of an attitude of refusal.
it is not just individual actions that maintain this life that is contrary to but solidarity and sustainability. There are also powerful structures of production that produce mobile phones, cars and food in capitalist competition, generating profits and growth.
However, such statement is “fundamentally critical” only if it linked to outspoken demands for clear regulations and distribution structures, and asks even more for clear structures of production and its organisation. For example, the requirement that cooperatives can exist has to be secured not least by tax law; recognition of what we produce has to be accompanied by looking at the various damages, however, important is that such alternative perspectives soon lose the character of good, namely when results are forced into balance sheets and new accounting techniques … – An extreme mishap occurs when we look for “pricing of everything” (George Monbiot), which then suggests so-called green growth as way out. What is proposed here is, as well, quite concrete, though laborious. Last but not least, it is also about small steps and the ‘sweeping in front of your own door’ – for example, to work for the development of the Local Public Transport Network and cycle path networks instead of embarking on the dangerous “main road”; for example, it is about denouncing the overcrowding of shop corridors in supermarkets instead of accepting being exposed to the dangers of injury. Of course, these are also truisms and will hardly be considered as a critique of Brand’s critique of the imperial way of life. However, the difference is huge – now it is time for a bit of theory, otherwise it remains really a
we-know-it “Ökoelite”, telling society how to live so that climate change and other environmental problems are overcome.
In comparison – and acknowledging the dangers of such shortcut – the following points can easily be recognised as an important approach to concrete, that is, feasible, utopias.
First, Brand starts from the criticism of lifestyle and then sees ,even powerful production structures’. In contrast, in our opinion – strongly influenced by the French Regulation School – a set of four dimensions needs to be considered: [a] the accumulation regime, in a broad way defined as definition of what has value and the appropriate structuration of value; [b] the life-regime as a framework or “set-box” within which individuals can plan their lives – very different ways but in general limited by cornerstones such as paid employment, increasingly private social security [note this oxymoron of the “privacy of the social”] and many more; [c] the mode of regulation, generally not least an ideological and formal system, which ensures the implementation of the two regimes mentioned before. And here, too, there is a counterpart, namely [d] the mode of life – this is looking at what each individual really makes of life – taking into account the small print or observing the principle that terms and conditions apply.
Given this framework, it is possible to determine more precisely where we stand – and against which we must develop systematically our strategy: it is methodological nationalism and methodological individualism – this goes further than simply nationalism and individualism, for it is about the roots of these phenomena, without which just a left critique quickly reaches the limits. With these four dimensions in mind, it is also possible to illuminate the developmental path more systematically and to look at perspectives of the “no movement further this way” – five core areas will be mentioned, also aiming of replacing the Keynes Beverdige orientation on the five major evils: greed, illness, ignorance, misery and laziness. Although many challenges still need to be addressed, the five tensions are outlined as major economic and political challenges:
- The overproduction of goods – globally and locally – turns into a production of very concrete, tangible bads
- Huge public and quasi-public wealth meets with extremely unequal access options for the majority
- The wealth of knowledge is trimmed by an orientation on skills
- The individualisation of problems itself causes social problems
- The complexity of governmental processes leads to the inability to govern, which in Germany is partly criticized as “Merkelogy” – the attempt of doing everything right by avoiding clear decisions.
Admittedly a bit snappy, a remark remains to be added: even the discussion about the anti-imperial way of life, as brought forward by Brand, has something of that oxymoron of the privacy of the social – and unfortunately that is different and perhaps even contrary to the slogan that the private is political.
Sure, communism “is the simple thing that is so difficult to do” – this is how Brecht formulated, writing the role for Palagea Vlasova, The Mother. And so it is with every kind of better life. Anyway, we think more appropriate than those Christmas- and New Year wishes put forward in the article we refer to, are the following ideas and demands:
- Conscious life – as a recognition and evaluation of successes already achieved instead of continued recalculations of what we know at least in principle [19.7% poverty and exclusion in Germany are too much – but already 15% and even 10% were already too much.
- As part of this: emphasis of existing opportunities emerging from the public use of public goods – e.g. more data access and control for everybody, considering them as public goods, instead of excessive protection of artificially defined privacy.
- Lived equality and openness instead of closing “communities” in order to maintain consensus of the various kind – something that concerns gated communities in urban settlements as well various “critical” groups that are sealing themselves of against critical debates
- Which translates in the need for an open and honest disputes and conflict culture against forced “burden of consensus”, aiming on a pseudo-peace culture.
Sure, it is not be meant this way – yet the fight for the good life nearly pushes its advocates to see Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, and Cronies as allies. They already live in such a rational world of sharing and doing good, of course far from a rights-based approach and far from the idea of producing something different and producing in different ways. They fear redistribution probably less than establishing rights-based systems that would block the possibilities of initial exploitation – that mode of accumulation, which easily determines the last fibres our way of life. It is precisely this notion that makes also Brands wish-list not much more than well-meant, and certainly not worthless, individualistic efforts. The testimony of such “revolution” will then be that it had been tried hard to reach the goal – everybody who knows about the rules of phrasing such documents knows what is actually means: trying to achieve a goal does not mean actually doing so.
 Social philosopher; UEF, Finland ; Corvinus University of Hungary; EURISPES, Italy; currently Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy [Social Law], Munich
 Social scientist; Middle East Technical University, Ankara
 These five tensions are first addressed in Herrmann, Peter, 2016: From 5 giant evils to 5 giant tensions – the current crisis of capitalism as seedbed for its overturn – or: How many gigabytes has a horse ?; Seminar ‘Continuidad y Cambios en la relaciones Internacionales’ at ISRI (Instituto Superior de Relaciones Internacionales Raúl Roas García), Havana [ https://www.researchgate.net/publication/301815015_From_5_giant_evils_to_5_giant_tensions_-_the_current_crisis_of_capitalism_as_seedbed_for_its_overturn_-_or_How_Many_Gigabyte_has_a_Horse ] ; Growth and Development – Complement or Contradiction? Challenges for a Global Agenda; Shanghai Forum, China and Latin America. The Development Partnership of the Trans-Pacific Section [https://www.researchgate.net/publication/303549291_Growth_and_Development_-_Complement_or_Contradiction_Challenges_for_a_Global_Agenda]
When we met the last time in person – if I remember correctly, it had been at the place du Colonel Fabien in Paris, Paul, arriving with Catherine, welcomed me by saying something like:
I am so glad that we can meet, I only just recovered …, can you imagine; I could not speak for about three days … – he his fatherly and still young laugh marked his face as it did so often. Can you imagine, me, not being able to speak a single word.
was stirring an intensive pubic discussions in France.
And our cooperation – in detail and the presentations and debates in the large conference venue at the place du Colonel Fabien – was something that tightened a deep felt friendship.
Ce que je fais est follement prétentieux, et pourtant, même si on le fait mal, il faut le faire. C’est en le faisant mal qu’on le fera mieux un jourWhat I do is insanely pretentious, and yet, even if you do it wrong, you have to do it. It’s by hurting him that we’ll ever do it better.
There are so many notes I made, there are so many ideas … . It is your turn soon to gather it, and to move things on.
you may also see it as real G20-meeting – real as it is reality that we need alternative approaches to the worlds pressing problems and great opportunities.
Attac’s Academic Council contributes with various workshops, one of them looking the Digital Platforms.
In German language my contribution during a workshop – and below some more detailed description. In a few days, a more extensive, and more academic presentation will be posted in English language.
follow also the two projects
BEITRAG zum WIRKLICHEN G20-Treffen, dem
[Aus der Programmankuendigung]
„Digitale Plattformen“, „sharing economy“, „crowd working“ sind neue Begriffe, an die sich Hoffnungen, aber auch Sorgen knüpfen. Laptops, Tablets und Smartphones revolutionieren die Arbeitswelt – tun sie das, und wenn ja, wie? Im Workshop soll unter Beteiligung von Prof. Peter Herrmann diskutiert werden, ob und wie sich unser (nicht nur Arbeits-) Alltag durch diese Digitalisierung verändern könnte und wie wir darauf reagieren.
Dieser Beitrag speziell versucht, die Änderungen der Kapitalstruktur herauszuarbeiten – die Schlussfolgerung ist einfach: Vergesellschaften anstatt Teilen.
VIIIAll social life is essentially practical. All mysteries which lead theory to mysticism find their rational solution in human practice and in the comprehension of this practice.IXThe highest point reached by contemplative materialism, that is, materialism which does not comprehend sensuousness as practical activity, is contemplation of single individuals and of civil society.XThe standpoint of the old materialism is civil society; the standpoint of the new is human society, or social humanity.XIThe philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it.
It seems at least that underlying the main topics of public debates – growth, competitiveness, sustainability, ratio (as in rationality), digitalisation and globalisation, of course – we find some matter that may be called by the apparent misnomer “competition in self-degrading”. It does not really sound better than the more appropriate “nomer” which then should read nationalism, often in its most crude and primitive form. – A quick “synoptical view”, linking few articles I came across in the more or less recent press (like in printing press). Some of it is not so much about reading between the lines, more about reading the small print.
So, in the beginning stands the word; and it says that
many young people started their businesses out of an interest, instead of a market need, which increases the risk of failure.
The report found 29.2 percent of the males and 37.6 percent of the females cited personal interest as one of the main factors for their decision to start a business.
This, to me, sounds at least equally worrying as the complains about working conditions, bribery and some of those aspects that are supposed to deal with human rights here in the Country of Aurora – without any intention to deny their relevance. And I do not refocus, supposing that we should strike a balance and count (breach of) rights here and there. Though yes, the ignorance of some Westeners is remarkable, personalising things or seeing them more as “failure and weakness n individual cases. Still, it is never wrong to look “Trumps special wall”, saying
Of course it is relevant even if said just by one person, dangerously entering the stage, important even if it would be only for the reason to find out about his nasty followers as
[f]rom Mr Trump’s perspective … things are working well: Fiat Chrysler said it may have to pull production from Mexico. Ford, which has already cancelled a $1.6bn plant in Mexico, is now discussing compensation with suppliers.”
Yes, freedom is such an important issue when it comes to Human Rights – the freedom for the market, and we find the old story of preaching water, while drinking – fermented grape juice, this probably the more appropriated term, finally point on the process of rotting that stands behind this concept of freedom:
Donald Trump has called for tariffs of 35 per cent on cars imported from Mexico to the US, and has criticised companies that move manufacturing south of the border, with tweets directed at General Motors and Toyota.
Self-degrading in terms of showing the lowest instincts in place – by no means a new issue as it for instance getting clear from Domenico Losurdo‘s article on the
Bürgerliche Gesellschaft und Staat: Hegel, Marx und die zwei Liberalismen (Bourgeois/Civil Society and State: Hegel, Marx and the two liberalisms)
And of course we should talk about the need to do something immediately and in the singular cases, seeing that
And nevertheless, if it is true that the word stands in the beginning, we should take it from here: the vocabulary of gain as leading motive, as marked by Karl Polanyi – seeing it as the turning point
Nineteenth century civilization alone was economic in a different and distinctive sense, for it chose to base itself on a motive only rarely acknowledged as valid in the history of human societies, and certainly never before raised to the level of a justification of action and behavior in everyday life, namely, gain. The self-regulating market system was uniquely derived from this principle.
The mechanism which the motive of gain set in motion was comparable in effectiveness only to the most violent outburst of religious fervor in history. Within a generation the whole human world was subjected to its undiluted influence.
This word was step by step translated into numbers, which mark today the
On the one level this is the issue Hannah Arendt looked at, stating in her book on the Human Condition that
the situation created by the sciences is of great political significance. Wherever the relevance of speech is at stake, matters become political by definition, for speech is what makes man a political being. If we would follow the advice, so frequently urged upon us, to adjust our cultural attitudes to the present status of scientific achievement, we would in all earnest adopt a way of life in which speech is no longer meaningful. For the sciences today have been forced to adopt a “language” of mathematical symbols which, though it was originally meant only as an abbreviation for spoken statements, now contains statements that in no way can be translated back into speech.
The analysis of the
by Charles Gore clearly shows that this problem also and increasingly applies to the “good-willing”, “good-doing” policy approaches:
These changes have certainly made the Washington Consensus more humane. But at the same time, the SHD approach has had the effect of conserving key features of the world- view of the dominant paradigm. Although its different values have emphasized different indicators and weighting systems, particularly to capture levels of human development and poverty, these measures have reinforced a focus on short-term performance assessment.
But here I also reached the point of talking about competition in self-degrading. Similar studies and complaints and fears in so may countries – and it does not really matter that we find similar claims when it comes to countries (or national NGOs, social group … …) claiming for “their populace” or “their constituency” the “highest unemployment, poverty, homeless rate …”, or the most severe problems with racism, lack of solidarity, democratic deficits, bureaucracy or bailing out the multimillionaires profit sources … , or the least support for alternatives, the closest and strictest and responsive and exclusive (as in exclusion) … .
All these are too often seen in just one respect:
“We’re losing ground – a troubling prospect when, in today’s knowledge-based economy, the best jobs can go anywhere in the world,” says US Education Secretary John B. King Jr. “Students in Massachusetts, Maryland, and Minnesota aren’t just vying for great jobs along with their neighbors or across state lines, they must be competitive with peers in Finland, Germany, and Japan.”
Yes, indeed, we are living in an era of globalisation. And with all the issues around privatisation even those who are in its favour should never forget that they ultimately can and do only gain by relying on the state – this is pointed out by Mariana Mazzucato, writing about
It is of course important not to romanticize the State’s capacity. The State can leverage a massive national social network of knowledge and business acumen, but we must make sure its power is controlled and directed through a variety of accountability measures and diverse democratic processes. However, when organized effectively, the State’s visible hand is firm but not heavy, providing the vision and the dynamic push (as well as some ‘nudges’) to make things happen that otherwise would not have. Such actions are meant to increase the courage of private business. This requires understanding the State as neither a ‘meddler’ nor a simple ‘facilitator’ of economic growth.
And here we may come to another issue that is relevant when talking about globalisation as we can know that:
Company has invested more than $10 billion overseas so far, with gross value of assets reaching $40 billion
State Grid Corp of China has signed a deal to purchase a minority stake in Greece’s power grid operator ADMIE, a move to further extend its international reach.
The company will purchase a 24 percent state in ADMIE, Greece’s state-backed Public Power Corporation’s subsidiary, …
An interesting detail (and I am definitely not talking about the figures) is here the following:
Being part of Greece’s international bailout, ADMIE operates more than 11,000 kilometers of high-voltage power cable in Greece, earning an operating profit of 155 million euros last year, with a regulated asset base of 1.4 billion euros and a total debt of 490 million euros.
So, indeed there are complex new structures not only of cross-interlocking, but emerging new entities, still nameless, as any attempt to call them PPP, global control, interdependence, global governance or the like is all too closely linked to past and present. – In the beginning is the word, but nobody should say that this defines for ever the same language code.
All this does not fit into any model of linearity or mathematical formula …
The old political economy, even of an Alfred Marshall, would have been more knowledgeable on this than the “modern” entrepreneurs that had been envisaged in the article, quoted at the beginning of these few thoughts.
At the end there should still be the person to be reproduced as such, and with all the irrational joys and disturbing worries and sorrows.
– It this person (as in personality) that enlightenment – as humanist (though unlike as in humanitarian) movement – wanted to bring on stage.
And as history is made up of contradictions and paradoxes, it may be most appropriate to quote at the end the “self-enthroned antichrist”, leaving aside if he could rightly claim so, and surely not suggesting that this Übermensch would be the incarnation of true humanism:
Those who keep silent are almost always lacking in delicacy and courtesy of the heart; silence is an objection, swallowing down necessarily produces a bad character — it even ruins the stomach. All the silent are dyspeptic. — One sees, I do not want crudeness to be undervalued, it is by far the most humane form of opposition and, in the midst of modern over-indulgence, one of our foremost virtues. — If one is rich enough for it, it is even a matter of good fortune to be in the wrong. A God come down to earth ought to do nothing other than wrong — to take upon himself not the punishment but the guilt, that alone would be divine.
It had not been Zarathustra, saying this.
— At the end of the day, all this is the essence of what my students should have learned from the lectures during the last semester, their first encounter with academics. One could say not much for an entire semester. But one could also say: if some people in Washington, London, Berlin/Frankfurt …, and yes: Beijing would have not forgotten these simple facts we would still have many problems, but many of those fundamental problems we do have, we would not have and we would not have to join the legions of people and peoples, mourning about their own hardship being the most severe … .
 Webber, Jude, 13.1.2917: ¡No pasarán!; FT-blog LatAmViva; Your Weekly briefing on the region
 Arendt, Hannah, 1958: The Human Condition; Chicago/London: University of Chicago Press, 1958: 3 f.
 Polanyi, Karl, 1944: The Great Transformation: The Political and Economic Origins of Our Time; Boston: Beacon Press, 1957: 30
In the context of the XIII Conference of Latin American Studies “Realities and perspectives of the progressive and leftist processes in Latin America”, taking place from today until the 21st of October 2016 in Havana, Cuba, an article I read recently, comes to my mind.
* Precarity or a new work-life balances
* Wealth – Redistribution versus New Production
* Local and Global – Development in one country or many different worlds
* Small is Powerful – Potentials for small countries and niche economies.