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Abstracts for Max Weber Lectures 2018-2019

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 Thomas Christiano  (The University of Arizona)poster Christiano

“A Democratic Conception of Markets”
17 October 2018, 17:00-18:30
Badia, Refettorio
Chair: Jared Holley (HEC)
Introduction: Richard Bellamy (Director MWP)



In this lecture I defend a conception of fairness in labor markets.  I will argue that we should take a procedural approach to the evaluation of fairness in markets. 

The procedural approach defended here goes beyond the traditional procedural view that requires only the absence of force and fraud.  But it avoids the pitfalls of the other classical conception of fairness in the market: the idea of a just wage or just price. 

Fairness in markets is analogous to fairness in the democratic process, I contend.  I lay out a conception of fairness that is based on the analogy with democracy.  The basic procedural idea is that of equal power, understood in markets as a robust form of equality of opportunity and equal cognitive conditions. 

The procedural idea of equal power can be given an interpretation in perfectly competitive markets.   I then develop the idea further in imperfectly competitive markets. 

I will show how this approach has implications for conceiving of how firms ought to be organized and for defining a fair process of wage setting in the essentially highly imperfect conditions of the labor market.

About the speaker: Thomas Christiano is a philosopher at the University of Arizona. He writes books and articles on moral and political philosophy and regularly teaches both graduate and undergraduate courses. Christiano's current research is mainly in moral and political philosophy with emphases on democratic theory, distributive justice and global justice.

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 Catherine Schenk (University of Oxford)poster schenk

The Global Financial Crisis 10 years after:
using and forgetting the past?
14 November 2018, 17:00-18:30
Badia, Refettorio

 Chair: Elsa Massoc (MWF-SPS)
Introduction: Youssef Cassis (HEC-RSC Professor)




The Global Financial Crisis (or North Atlantic Financial Crisis) appeared to catch most international institutions by surprise.  

A decade of monetary policy orthodoxy focused on inflation had lulled regulators and central banks into confidence in the resilience of global financial markets. 

The initial reaction to the crisis by major advanced economies was swift and effective, prompting a coordinated fiscal and monetary response.  This reaction drew on the understanding of the causes and consequences of the depression of the 1930s, as Eichengreen and others have noted.  

But after 10 years, the system has yet to return to 'normal' and there are fears that the prolonged low interest rate environment is creating new financial risks.  As we enter the next phase of reversing unconventional monetary policy, it is time to reflect on what we learned from previous crises and what historical lessons we failed to understand that might be useful for future policy-making.

To explore these themes, there will be a particular focus on the governance and structure of the international monetary system and the development of the global financial safety net in historical perspective.

About the speaker: Catherine Schenk FRHS, FRSA is Professor of Economic and Social History at Oxford University and Professorial Fellow at St. Hilda's College Oxford. After completing  undergraduate and Masters degrees at University of Toronto in Economics, International Relations and Chinese Studies, she completed her PhD at the London School of Economics to complete her PhD in Economic History. 

Since then she has held academic positions at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, Royal Holloway, University of London and University of Glasgow.  She has also been visiting professor at Nankai University, China, and Hong Kong University. 

Outside academia she has spent time as a visiting researcher at the International Monetary Fund and at the Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research and in 2018-19 will be Lamfalussy Fellow at the Bank for International Settlements.

She is an Associate Fellow in international economics at Chatham House, London and on the Academic Council of the European Association of Banking and Financial History.

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Neil Walker (University of Edinburgh)poster_Walker

'When Sovereigns Stir'

5 December 2018, 17:00-18:30
Badia, Refettorio
Chair: Emily Hancox (MWF-LAW)
Introduction: Joanne Scott (EUI-LAW Professor)



Richard Tuck’s recent  study of Thomas Hobbes’ famous depiction of the ‘Sleeping Sovereign’ offers a reminder  of the 17th century philosopher’s contribution to the political imaginary within which our modern conception of constitutional democracy would later emerge. Central to that imaginary is Hobbes’ distinction between sovereignty and government – anticipating the division between the constitutional ‘rules of the game’ established by the ‘people’ or popular sovereign,  and the day-to-day conduct of government under these rules.  In these terms, the ‘people’ remain ‘asleep’ except in the event of revolutionary renewal, or, more often, under  strict conditions of constitutional amendment.

The Hobbesian metaphor, extended to cover the ‘stirring’ of new forms of sovereigntist consciousness and practice, continues to offer a powerful perspective on the strengths and the limitations of a sovereignty-centred approach to the contemporary global political condition. We can illustrate these new stirrings, and how they are related, through the four ‘R’s.

The Reassembling of sovereignty refers to how increasingly elaborate and inclusive procedures  going beyond the normal menu of amendment techniques are being used today to achieve constitutional settlement or galvanize constitutional change.

The Raising of sovereignty refers to new claims or the resurrection of old claims by sub-state or trans-state populations  who dispute the present pattern of sovereign authority.

The Rationing of sovereignty refers to the process by which certain supra-state entities, such as the EU, seek to split the sovereignty atom amongst overlapping and interacting and so no longer omnicompetent states. Finally, 

The Reassertion of sovereignty involves the reaffirmation of existing sovereign claims, often in response to and reaction against the challenges associated with reassembling, raising and rationing; and often, too, articulated in populist terms,  downplaying many of the protections of political pluralism and individual rights that mark the modern constitutional condition. 

About the speaker: 

Neil Walker holds the Regius Chair of Public Law and the Law of Nature and Nations at the University of Edinburgh. His main area of expertise is constitutional theory. He has published extensively on the constitutional dimension of legal order at sub-state, state, supranational and global levels. He has also published at length on the relationship between security, legal order and political community. He maintains a more general interest in broader questions of legal theory as well as in various substantive dimensions of UK and EU public law. Previously he was Professor of Legal and Constitutional Theory at the University of Aberdeen (1996-2000), and Professor of European Law at the European University Institute in Florence (2000-8), where he was also the first Dean of Studies (2002-5). He has also held various visiting appointments - including Eugene Einaudi Chair of European Studies, University of Cornell (2007); Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law, University of Toronto (2007), Global Professor of Law, New York University (2011-12), Sidley Austin-Robert D. McLean Visiting Professor of Law, Yale University (2014-5), International  Francqui  Chair, University of Leuven, (2017).He has an LLD (Honoris Causa) from the University of Uppsala, is a fellow of the British Academy, and is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. His most recent books are the monograph,  Intimations of Global Law (Cambridge, 2015) and the edited collection,  The Scottish Independence Referendum: Constitutional and Political Implications (co-editor, Oxford, 2016). He is presently completing a study of the EU as an ‘experimental project’.

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Annelien De DijnMW_single_poster_16Jan
(Utrecht University)

'Egalitarian Revolutions'

16 January 2019, 17:00-18:30
Badia, Refettorio

Chair: Pascale Siegrist (MWF-HEC)
Introduction: Ann Thomson (HEC EUI Professor)



In this lecture, I show that the Atlantic Revolutions of the late eighteenth century were not just democratic revolutions, as R.R. Palmer put it; they were also egalitarian revolutions. American, Dutch and French revolutionaries were convinced that their experiment with democratic government could only succeed in societies with a more or less equal distribution of property. Hence, they introduced a host of laws designed to create or maintain greater social equality. 

Second, I explain why the social egalitarianism of the Atlantic Revolutions has been more or less forgotten by historians and the broader public. I conclude by reflecting on the extent to which the Atlantic Revolutions constitute a "usable past" for contemporary egalitarians.   

About the speaker

Annelien de Dijn is a Professor of Modern History at the University of Utrecht. She focuses on the history of political thought, in particular the history of republicanism and liberalism. She is currently finalizing her second book, 'Freedom: An Unruly History', which is under contract with Harvard University Press and which traces the history of freedom from Herodotus to the present. Her first book, 'French Political Thought from Montesquieu to Tocqueville: Liberty in a Levelled Society', appeared in 2008.  

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poster Schmidt Vivien Schmidt 
(Boston University)
"The Rhetoric of Discontent:  A Transatlantic Inquiry into the Rise of Populism"

20 February 2019, 17:00-18:30
Badia, Refettorio
Chair: Miriam Dagefoerde (SPS)
Introduction: Stefano Bartolini (SPS Professor)



The rise of what is often called ‘populism’ constitutes the biggest challenge to liberal democracy since the 1920s or 1930s. 

The voices of populist dissent speak in different languages but mostly convey similar messages—against globalization and free trade, immigration and open borders, Europeanization and the euro.  They draw from the same range of sources—the economics of those feeling ‘left behind,’ the sociology of those worried about the ‘changing faces of the nation,’ and the politics of those who want to ‘take back control.’  And they employ rhetorical strategies via social media to create ‘post-truth’ environments that reject experts, demonize conventional political elites and parties, and excoriate mainstream media while using them to amplify their messages. 

The question is:  Why and how have populists had such success today in channeling public fear and anger?  Scholars often respond by focusing on the sources of discontent—economic, social, or political—and trigger moments.

But a complete answer demands an investigation of what populists say, meaning the substantive content of leaders’ ideas and discourse; how they say it, involving the discursive processes of interaction via activist social movements, party networks, and direct links with ‘the people;’ and what they do, in opposition and/or in power in their differing national contexts. 

About the speaker

Vivien A. Schmidt is Jean Monnet Professor of European Integration and Professor of International Relations and Political Science in the Pardee School at Boston University, where she has also served as the Founding Director of its Center for the Study of Europe. Her latest honors and awards include decoration as Chevalier in the Legion of Honor, a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, and the European Union Studies Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award (to be received in May 2019).  She has held visiting professorships and fellowships at a wide range of European institutions, including LUISS University in Rome, the Free University of Brussels, the Copenhagen Business School, the Free University of Berlin, Sciences Po Paris, the European University Institute in Florence, and Oxford University.  Her recent books include the forthcoming Europe’s Crisis of Legitimacy: Governing by Rules and Ruling by Numbers in the Eurozone (Oxford 2019), Resilient Liberalism in Europe’s Political Economy (co-edited, Cambridge 2013), and Democracy in Europe (Oxford 2006; French trans., La Découverte 2010)—named in 2015 by the European Parliament as one of the ‘100 Books on Europe to Remember.’   Her latest project, supported by the Guggenheim Fellowship, focuses on the ‘rhetoric of discontent’ through a transatlantic investigation of the populist revolt against globalization and Europeanization.

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MWL March David Soskice
(London School of Economics)

'Advanced Capitalism, Advanced Democracies and National Autonomy: Symbiotic Most of the Time'
Badia, Refettorio

20 March 2019, 17:00-18:30

Chair: Per Andersson (MWF-SPS)
Introduction: Ellen Immergut (SPS Professor)



In this lecture I look at the relationship between the state, advanced capitalism, democracy, technology regime change, populism and globalisation.   My recent book with Torben Iversen, Democracy and Prosperity: Reinventing Capitalism through a Turbulent Century (Princeton 2019) argues that from a long term perspective the performance of advanced capitalist democracies has been highly effective – certainly compared to any other political economic system.  From the perspective of the hundred years since the end of the First World War – arguably the most turbulent in recorded history (apart from the C5th CE) – living standards have increased massively, and extreme poverty eliminated. By 1920 all the early industrialisers had become democracies, and most remarkably remained so (absent 35-45 and Czechoslovakia). Why such resilience? We argue that advanced capitalist systems are embedded in advanced democracies; that those in the advanced sectors and aspirational electorates only vote for governments promoting advanced capitalism; thus normally advanced democracies drive advanced capitalism, promoting competition and providing infrastructure. From modern economic geography, knowledge is increasingly embedded in skill clusters and agglomerating cities; hence advanced capital, whose profitability depends on knowledge, is politically weak being tied down and not footloose.  Electoral backlash occurs as a result of technological regime change (I explain why); but populist parties are only durably successful when they can deliver desired change. Embedded knowledge by increasing specialisation promotes globalisation; and globalisation in the advanced world, operating through multinationals with knowledge based subsidiary networks, reinforces the autonomy of the advanced nation state.  Thus we argue for a symbiosis between the autonomy of the advanced nation state, advanced capitalism and democracy – in opposition to the great theorists of capitalism and the state, from Schumpeter, Hayek and Lindblom, Marx and Poulantzas, to Streeck and Piketty.

About the speaker:

David Soskice has been School Professor of Political Science and Economics at the LSE  since 2012, where his responsibilities include the promotion of interdisciplinary research. Before that he taught economics at University College Oxford, and was Director of the political economy research division at the WZB in Berlin, 1990-2001. In 2016, he chaired Crossing Paths, Report of the British Academy Working Group on Interdisciplinarity. With Wendy Carlin (UCL) he published Macroeconomics: Instability, Institutions and the Financial System (OUP, 2015). He gave the 2013 Federico Caffѐ lectures in Rome on Knowledge Economies: Winners and Losers. With Peter Hall (Harvard) he edited Varieties of Capitalism (OUP 2001). With Niki Lacey he has written several recent articles on the comparative political economy of crime and punishment, with particular reference to the US.  And with Torben Iversen he has just published Democracy and Prosperity: Reinventing Capitalism through a Turbulent Century (Princeton UP). He is a Fellow of the British Academy (Politics, Economics and Management sections); was President of the European Political Science Association 2011-14; and is an Honorary Fellow of Trinity College, Oxford. 

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Nancy L. Greenposter green
(École des hautes études en sciences sociales)

'A New Look at the Economics of Mobility:
The Causes and Costs of Transnationalism' 
 17 April 2019, 17:00-18:30
Badia Refettorio

Chair: Alessandro Bonvini (MWF-HEC)
Introduction: Martin Ruhs (Professor at the RSC)



The politics of immigration and the history of (social and political) citizenship are important ways of examining how the state defines the Other.  However, beyond the cultural implications of inclusion and exclusion, it is time to take another look at the history of the economics of migration. 

While the discourse on migration today emphasizes otherness, the economic factors of mobility have been forgotten.  Yet the supply and demand of labour have historically underpinned movement, and immigrants have always been a bellwether of the political economy and historically important additions to national economies: industrial workers yesterday (more men), workers in the service and care industries today (more women).  A new economics of mobility needs to re-examine (gendered) labour markets while understanding the choices and costs of migration to individuals, families, and states, from the family economy to the cost of credit to the “business” of migration (the intermediaries along the route), the costs of closure to the state (walls are expensive!), and the subcontracting of detention.

Finally, the literal costs of citizenship can also be explored in a period in which citizenship is increasingly “for sale.” 

About the speaker: Nancy L. Green is professor (directrice d’études) of history at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris, where she is a member of the Centre de Recherches Historiques.  She received her doctorate from the University of Chicago in 1980 and a doctorat d’état from the Université de Paris VII in 1996.  A specialist of migration history, comparative methods, and French and American social history, her major publications include: Ready-to-Wear and Ready-to-Work: A Century of Industry and Immigrants in Paris and New York (Duke University Press, 1997); Repenser les migrations (Presses Universitaires de France, 2002); Citizenship and Those Who Leave (co-ed. with François Weil) (University of Illinois Press, 2007); Histoire de l’immigration et question coloniale en France (co-ed. with Marie Poinsot) (La documentation française, 2008); The Other Americans in Paris: Businessmen, Countesses, Wayward Youth, 1880-1941, 2014 (University of Chicago Press, 2014); and A Century of Transnationalism: Immigrants and their Homeland Connections (co-ed. with Roger Waldinger (University of Illinois Press, 2016). The Limits of Transnationalism will appear this May with University of Chicago Press.

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poster_MilnerHelen V. Milner
(Princeton University)

'Globalization and Its Political Consequences:
The Rise of Populism?'

15 May 2019, 17:00-18:30
Badia, Refettorio

Chair: James Lee (MWF-SPS)
Introduction: Oliver Westerwinter (MWF-RSC)



Globalization has grown much since 1980s. What political trends have been associated with this growth? This paper examines two aspects of the political consequences of globalization.

Economic globalization, according to some economic theories, has adverse consequences for labour, especially less skilled labour, in the rich democracies. If these voters are the median, then we might expect parties to respond to this by turning against globalization and the openness to flows of goods, services, people and capital that it brings.

Have parties turned against economic openness? And have parties, especially extreme right-wing ones, that oppose openness advanced in terms of their electoral strength as a result? 

First I explore whether political parties in the advanced industrial countries have adopted more anti-internationalist platforms as globalization has advanced. Second, I examine whether parties have been affected deferentially by globalization; in particular, have extreme, right-wing extremist parties gained vote share as globalization has proceeded, while mainstream left ones have lost.

The evidence suggests that globalization, especially trade, is associated with a political turn to anti-internationalism and to extremist parties.


About the speaker: Helen V. Milner is the B. C. Forbes Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University and the director of the Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School. She was the chair of the Department of Politics from 2005 to 2011. She was president of the International Political Science Association (IPSA) from 2012-14. She has written extensively on issues related to international and comparative political economy, the connections between domestic politics and foreign policy, globalization and regionalism, and the relationship between democracy and trade policy.

She is currently working on issues related to globalization and development, such as the political economy of foreign aid, the "digital divide" and the global diffusion of the internet, and the relationship between globalization and democracy. Her research in these areas concerns Africa, in particular the politics of foreign aid in Uganda and Ghana and the resource curse associated with non-tax income in such countries. She also looks at how globalization interacts with political change in Tunisia in another branch of research.

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