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PERG Lecture "The Trap of Confederalism - Managing Developmental gaps, widening divides"

Thursday, January 20, 2022, 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm

The Political Economy Research Group and the Department of Political Science cordially invites you to 

"The Trap of Confederalism - Managing Developmental gaps, widening divides"

lecture by Laszlo Bruszt and Dora Piroska.

ABSTRACT: Europe's economic integration has had uneven distributional effects between core (Western and Northern Europe) and periphery (Eastern and Southern Europe). Several market correcting instruments have been introduced by the EU in order to mitigate such divergence, and further common developmental goals including cohesion policy, state aid measures, investments of the European Investment Bank, and the EFSI. We assess the distributive effects of those actions and find that these policies have not decreased developmental gaps among member states. Instead of serving longer-term common European interests, they are potential factors of widening divides in Europe. Mainstream integration theories explain such outcomes with the built-in bias of EU institutions that provide opportunities to core countries to reproduce a playing field tilted towards the stronger economies. These theories, however, cannot explain the preferences of EU-level political actors: why do they create and uphold suboptimal policies, why do they repeatedly learn the wrong lessons from previous failures of managing developmental disparities in Europe. Drawing on comparative federalism, we argue that it is the trap of the confederal organization of political representation in the EU that explains the deficiencies of market correcting policies in the EU.



Following the lecture, there will be a welcome reception in the D001 Lounge. Please note that the event will also be live streamed. Find the Zoom link here: The Trap of Confederalism: Lecture by Laszlo Bruszt and Dora Piroska | Facebook