Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
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Conference -- The Failure of the Euro? Causes and Consequences for Europe and Beyond

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Martinos Auditorium, Granoff Center, 154 Angell Street

The Failure of the Euro? Causes and Consequences for Europe and Beyond

For more information please see: www.watsoninstitute.org/euro 

A live webcast of the conference will also be available at http://brown.edu/web/livestream/. All are encouraged to follow along on Twitter (@watsoninstitute), and the event’s hashtag will be #browneuro.

Martinos Auditorium, Granoff Center, 154 Angell Street

When the global financial crisis emerged full flower in 2008, its immediate impact on Europe was seen mainly through short-term declines in exports that quickly rebounded. Europe, it seemed, had dodged the crisis of ‘debt-laden Anglo-Saxon’ capitalism. By 2010 however, the crisis arrived in Europe via the balance sheets of periphery sovereigns, quickly morphing into a crisis of core banks that threatens the existence of the Euro itself. But even if the Euro survives, we must ask to what extent the project of ‘one currency and one Europe’ can be seen as a success or a failure after the crisis. The European project has become synonymous with the Euro currency but it both predates and goes well beyond the Euro. It is above all a political union that seeks to forge a common European purpose out of diverse national interests. It is based upon solidarity and community. It is based upon trust. This is perhaps what the Eurocrisis puts most at risk, turning ‘partners’ into ‘PIGS’ and membership into moral hazard. By the time we hold this conference in April 2012 we shall perhaps know whether the Euro has survived in its current form. But whether the EU can survive the Euro is another question entirely. It is these issues that we explore at the Watson Institute on April 17th 2012.



Mark Blyth
(Faculty Fellow, Watson Institute for International Studies; Professor of International Political Economy, Department of Political Science, Brown University; and Director of International Relations and Development Studies Programs, Brown University) 
Ross Levine (James and Merryl Tisch Professor of Economics and Director, William R. Rhodes Center for International Economics & Finance, Brown University)

Panel One: “Was The Euro An Accident Waiting To Happen, The Victim Of A Mugging By The Markets, Or A Self-Inflicted Wound?” 
Three prominent economists who have each weighed in on the issue of the Euro from various angles discuss the origins of the current crisis. Their discussants are a leading political scientist of Europe and one of the founders of the Euro.

Panelists: Stephen Kinsella (Lecturer in Economics, Kemmy Business School, University of Limerick), Amar Bhidé (Thomas Schmidheiny Professor, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University), Simon Tilford (Chief Economist, Center for European Reform)

Respondents: Nicolas Jabko (Associate Professor of Political Science, Johns Hopkins University; and Sciences Po-Paris), Romano Prodi (former Prime Minister of Italy; and Professor-at-Large, Brown University)

Panel Two: “The Euro Crisis in Markets, Politics, and in the Media”
This panel groups together market markers and financial media commentators to reflect upon how the Euro crisis has been seen in the markets and the media.

Panelists: Douglas Borthwick (Managing Director and Head of Trading, Faros Trading), James Kiernan (Cornerstone Capital), Alfred Gusenbauer (former Chancellor of Austria)

Respondents: David Brancaccio (American Public Media), Bethany McLean (Contributing Editor, Vanity Fair)

Panel Three: “Was it Really Different this Time? The Euro Crisis Compared.”
This panel groups experts on past currency and financial crises from a variety of backgrounds (markets, international financial institutions, academia) and asks them to place the current crisis in historical perspective for us. Their discussants ask whether of not ‘this time is different’ since it is happening in the core and not in the periphery?

Panelists: Walter Molano (Managing Partner and Head of Research, BCP Securities, LLC), Ross Levine (Brown University), David Wyss (former chief economist, Standard & Poor’s; and Visiting Fellow in International Relations, Brown University)

Respondents: Matthias Matthijs (Assistant Professor, School of International Service, American University), Cornel Ban (Postdoctoral Scholar in International Studies, Watson Institute; and Deputy Director, Development Studies Program, Brown University)

1:00-2:00pm  Lunch Break

2:00pm-3:00 pm
Keynote Speaker: Martin Wolf - Financial Times 

Martin Wolf
is chief economics commentator at the Financial Times, London. He was awarded the CBE (Commander of the British Empire) in 2000 “for services to financial journalism.” Mr. Wolf is an associate member of the governing body of Nuffield College, Oxford, honorary fellow of Corpus Christi College, Oxford University, an honorary fellow of the Oxford Institute for Economic Policy (Oxonia) and a special professor at the University of Nottingham.

Panel Four: “What Else Could Have Been Done?”
This panel places two leading European politicians in conversation with two political scientists and an economist from the Bank of France to examine the questions of ‘what else could have been done?’ and ‘could we have arrived at a very different point if key actions had been taken earlier?’

Panelists: Romano Prodi (former Prime Minister of Italy; and Professor-at-Large, Brown University), Alfred Gusenbauer (former Chancellor of Austria), Henry Farrell (Associate Professor of Political Science and International Affairs, George Washington University)

Respondents: Mark Vail (Associate Professor of Political Science, Tulane University), Morgan Després (Banque de France)

Panel Five: “The European Project: Can Europe Survive the Euro?”
This panel brings leading scholars of the European project together to ask whether or not the European political project of integration towards an ever closer union can survive the economic project of the Euro, and the very different demands that it places upon member states.

Panelists: Kathleen McNamara, (Associate Professor of Government and Foreign Service, Georgetown University), Vivien Schmidt (Jean Monnet Professor of European Integration; Director of the Center for International Relations; Director of the Center for the Study of Europe; Professor of International Relations, Boston University), Wade Jacoby (Professor of Political Science, Brigham Young University)

Respondents: Peter Hall (Krupp Foundation Professor of European Studies, Department of Government, Harvard University), Jonathan Hopkin (Reader in Comparative Politics, Department of Government, London School of Economics)

5:30-6:00pm - Wrap Up