Video - “The Past, Present and Future of European Democracy” conference by Prof. Michael Wilkinson and Prof. Vivien A. Schmidt

Above you will find the lecture “The Past, Present and Future of European Democracy” by Prof. Michael Wilkinson and Prof. Vivien A. Schmidt.

 

Speakers Biographies

 

Prof. MichaEl a. Wilkinson

Michael A Wilkinson is Professor at LSE Law. He works in the areas of constitutional theory, European integration, and legal, political, and social theory. His monograph on Authoritarian Liberalism and the Transformation of Modern Europe (OUP, 2021) was selected as one of the ‘key books of the year on the future of Europe’ by the Review of Democracy. He recently co-edited a collection on a new approach to the study of constitutional law, The Cambridge Handbook on the Material Constitution (CUP, 2023). He has held visiting professorships at Cornell, Paris II, the National University of Singapore, and Keio University, Tokyo, and his work has been translated into Portuguese, Italian, Spanish, and Turkish.

 

Prof. vivien A. Schmidt

Vivien A. Schmidt is Professor Emerita of International Relations and Political Science, Jean Monnet Professor of European Integration and Founding Director of the Center for the Study of Europe at Boston University, where she taught from 1998 to 2023. Prof. Schmidt is currently Visiting Fellow in the Schuman Center at the European University Institute in Florence, Honorary Professor at LUISS Guido Carli University in Rome, and Senior Fellow in the Zoe Institute.  Over the years, she has held visiting and affiliate positions at a number of European universities. In addition to LUISS University and the European University Institute, these include Sciences Po in Paris, the Free University of Berlin, the Free University of Brussels, Oxford University, the Max Planck Institute in Cologne, and Harvard University’s Center for European Studies, where she co-chaired the EU study group from 2008 to 2023. Professor Schmidt has published extensively on European political economy, institutions, and democracy as well as on the role of ideas and discourse in political analysis (discursive institutionalism). Her latest book is Europe’s Crisis of Legitimacy: Governing by Rules and Ruling by Numbers in the Eurozone (Oxford, 2020) which received the Best Book Award (2021) from the American Political Science Association’s Ideas, Knowledge, Politics section and Honorable Mention for the Best Book Award (2019-2020) of the European Union Studies Association.  Recent honors and awards include decoration as Chevalier in the French Legion of Honor, recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award of the European Union Studies Association, and a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship for her current project on the “rhetoric of discontent” a transatlantic investigation of populism.

 

Summary

At the turn of the 2020s, Professor Vivien Schmidt and Professor Michael Wilkinson published two very important contributions to European integration studies.*

Michael Wilkinson’s perspective is both legal and historical and spans the 20th century to reflect on the tensions between democratic politics and economy policymaking in Europe, depicting the hollowing out of a social democratic vision of the economy and the extension of non-democratic, technocratic rule in European politics after the Second World War. Vivien Schmidt’s book chiefly focuses on the political and economic responses to the Eurozone crisis, considering the ideas and discursive dynamics that led to policies characterized by “governing by rules and ruling by numbers”, i.e. imposing austerity and structural policies reforms. Following the deleterious impact of these measures, she argues that European officials began to change economic governance incrementally, reinterpreting the rules “by stealth”. The economic situation improved, but fundamental flaws persisted, and legitimacy remained in question.

Professor Schmidt and Professor Wilkinson will thus discuss the history of European economic governance and the gradual transformation of its mechanisms, rules, and laws.  They will debate the ways in which these rules and laws have been implemented and contested and will reflect on the future of economic decision-making in the European Union.

* Vivien A. Schmidt (2020). Europe's Crisis of Legitimacy: Governing by Rules and Ruling by Numbers in the Eurozone. Oxford University Press.

Michael A. Wilkinson (2021). Authoritarian Liberalism and the Transformation of Modern Europe. Oxford University Press.

This content has been updated on 4 June 2024 at 18 h 02 min.