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Drifting apart? The social reality of Europe after the crisis

  • Date(s)
    5 October 2015
  • Time
    18:30-20:15
  • Location
    Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, London School of Economics, 54 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC2A 3LJ.
Drifting apart? The social reality of Europe after the crisis

A spectre is haunting Europe – the spectre of disorderly fragmentation. Following the Great Recession Europe has suffered an exceptional loss of economic activity, vast increases in public debt as well as a crisis in the currency union. Brexit and Grexit scenarios are the headline grabbing, but by no means isolated, manifestations of discord with Brussels and its institutions and actors.

The risk is that the emerging divide within Europe will become a timebomb that threatens the stability of the EU’s political cohesion. It could provoke electorates to support policies that, at best, threaten the EU and, at worst, risk reviving the continent’s very worst memories of political extremism and intolerance. There is a vicious circle in play within which economic woes are fuelling social dislocation, which sparks political deadlock and/or extremism, which makes meaningful economic reform impossible. The challenge for policymakers is to defuse this predicament with policies that promote EU-wide improvements in growth, incomes, jobs and lower inequality.

This LSE public event will open with a compelling picture of Europe’s multifaceted divergences in the field of the economy and labour markets, inequality and poverty, education and health, politics and culture. It will conclude by exploring what both the EU and national governments can do to restore Europe's strength, sustainability, cohesion and competitiveness in a climate of rising populism.

Presentation

Roger Liddle and Patrick Diamond, chair and vice-chair, Policy Network and co-authors of The Social Reality of Europe: Trends, Challenges and Responses (Rowman and Littlefield International, 2015)

Respondents

Jonathan Hopkin, associate professor of comparative politics, LSE

Simon Nixon, chief European commentator, Wall Street Journal

John Park, assistant general secretary, Community Trade Union

Chair: Mareike Kleine, associate professor of EU and international politics, European Institute, LSE

Policy Network’s project on The Social Reality of Europe benefits from partnership with the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS)


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