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PAGOULATOS G. & TSOUKALIS L. - The Political Economy of Europe in Crisis and Beyond (25h)

Professors George PAGOULATOS & Loukas TSOUKALIS 

Since 2009-2010 Europe and the Eurozone have been engulfed in a severe, far-reaching and prolonged crisis. What started from the other side of the Atlantic, soon spread into Europe as a global financial crisis, subsequently transmuting into various crises: a (private and sovereign) debt crisis, a banking and a fiscal crisis, an economic and social crisis for the member states specifically affected, and thus a socio-political crisis and a crisis of democracy. The Eurozone crisis has exposed the construction defects of EMU, has been aggravated by the policy failures at national and European level, and has thrust the viability of the EMU project into doubt. It has generated poisonous divisions and discontent, both within and between member states, splitting the Eurozone between creditors and debtors, unleashing forces of fragmentation. It has also given impetus to institutional, governance and policy reform initiatives, in a Eurozone that has been operating in perpetual crisis mode.

Starting with a historical background in an attempt to identify and explain important long-term trends of European integration, this course will concentrate on the Eurozone crisis from a political economy perspective. It will try to understand the workings and interdependencies between institutions, socio-politics and economics, between the national, the intergovernmental, and the European. It will seek to shed light on the rationale underlying policy and political decisions, on the complex trade-offs, the legacies, the coalitions, the winners and losers, the broader implications, and the crucial stakes involved.

The course will examine a range of topics related to the EU and Eurozone crisis, with special emphasis on the dilemmas it has presented to both the Union and its member states. A policy orientation will be combined with a political economy perspective. A series of introductory lectures on the subject will be followed by seminars on specific topics, in which students will be expected to present short essays.

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