Austerity and Social Inequality:
The rise of the populist right and the European budget crisis
An online dialogue - 0.5 hours presentations and 1 hour Q&A -
9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Pacific Time, Tuesday, December 11, 2018
The pledges of a universal basic income and massive tax cuts set the Italian government on a collision course with the EU. This webinar will address how rising levels of inequality and social exclusion fuel the populist resentment against the political and economic elite.
Oliver Schmidtke (University of Victoria, director of the Centre for Global Studies) moderates the discussion and presentations on austerity and social inequality by two speakers: Dr. Valerie D'Erman (University of Victoria, Department of Political Science) and Dr. Kurt Huebner (University of British Columbia, Jean Monnet for European Integration and Global Political Economy and Interim Director, Institute for European Studies)
The long term effects of the 2008 financial and economic crisis still shape society and politics in Western democracies. From the right, populist and nationalist forces have effectively articulated the unease with growing inequality and economic uncertainty. This scenario plays out forcefully across Europe and, most dramatically, in Italy where the nationalist-populist government has refused EU budget rules and given voice to those frustrated with years of austerity measures. The Lega and the Five Star Movement won the last election with promises of a universal basic income and sweeping tax cuts. Yet, these pledges set the Italian government on a collision course with the EU and its strict budgetary policies. This webinar will discuss the situation in Italy with a view to the broader volatility of Western democracies: rising levels of inequality have given rise to growing dissatisfaction with mainstream party politics. The sense of being left out of globalization’s promises has in particular fueled a populist resentment against the political and economic elite at the domestic as well as the European level. Do we need to re-consider how we manage the economy considering issues of social justice and the stability of liberal democracies? Have the rules of the Euro zone become too ridged to address this fundamental concern for social inclusion and a fair distribution of prosperity and life chances?
*Please note, the Centre for Global Studies, will have a public showing of this webinar at the University of Victoria, in the Sedgewick Building, Room C168. All are welcome to attend.
*** Hosted since 2005 at the University of Victoria, the EUCAnet.org project focuses on stimulating exchange on EU-Canada topics. With the support of the Erasmus+ Jean Monnet project of the European Union “Communication and Media Strategies for EU experts in Canada” and the Centre for Global Studies, the webinar series brings together experts in Canada with various stake holders (students, practitioners, media representatives) to engage with ideas on critical issues of politics and policy making in Canada and Europe.