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Watson Institute for International Studies

Video on Austerity Policy Launches New Media Initiative

September 27, 2010

With governments formulating policies of austerity as the global economic crisis recedes, a new animated video short describes the thinking behind such policies as inherently flawed. Austerity features Faculty Fellow Mark Blyth, an international political economist whose views are captured by director Joe Posner ‘07.

Austerity is the first in a new media series being produced at the Watson Institute. It was produced in association with the Institute's Global Conversation and Global Media Project.

“In keeping with the Institute’s mission of producing research that addresses global problems, we want to make sure that we disseminate our findings in ways that can be well understood by people outside academic life,” according to Institute Deputy Director Geoffrey S. Kirkman ‘91. “We have launched this new series seeking to translate our faculty's ideas in media-friendly ways. “

The basic idea is to pair Institute faculty with young media makers, letting them use the power of audio, video, and graphics to capture the crux of the arguments faculty are making. 

“By bringing creative talent together with great academic work we think we can more effectively get our ideas out into mainstream public discourse,” Kirkman said. “We were pleased to harness the creativity of Brown University graduate and filmmaker Joe Posner.”

Blyth is writing a book, tentatively titled "Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea," investigating the return to prominence of the idea of a financial orthodoxy following the global financial crisis. The book is forthcoming from Oxford University Press.