Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Cornel Ban and the political economy of crises

I have been in Canada and the United States doing research for a book about world ports. In Boston I interviewed Cornel Ban. He recently co-edited a special issue of Review of International Political Economy on the BRICS’ relationship with the Washington Consensus, and is the author of several articles: “Brazil’s Liberal Neo-Developmentalism: Edited Orthodoxy or New Policy Paradigm?” (Review of International Political Economy), “Sovereign Debt, Austerity and Regime Change: The Case of Nicolae Ceausescu’s Romania” (East European Politics and Societies), “On Stranger Tides: The Diffusion of Ordoliberal Ideas in Postwar Spain” (History of Economic Ideas) and “Economic Transnationalism and Its Ambiguities: Romanian Migration to Italy” (International Migration).

Cornel Ban co-directs The Global Economic Governance Initiative at the Frederick S. Pardee Center of the University of Boston. I happened to co-direct "The Financial Governance Initiative" of FONDAD and other organizations in the years prior to the current crisis. Our focus was on how future crises could be prevented...

I found it very interesting and stimulating to hear Cornel Ban's views. He is currently completing a book manuscript on the political economy of crises, with a focus on the role of economic ideas and the interaction between international and domestic actors. I will report on some of Ban's views in a next post after having listened to the recording of our conversation.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Most popular (2)

and this month the most popular posts were:

Aug 18, 2014

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The most read posts on this blog are:

Jul 13, 2009, 1 comment

Degrowth Conference in Leipzig

A friend of mine in Barcelona wrote to me:

'Following the thread of a few days ago, I confess that I was a big fan of degrowth, even long before there was talk of it. Because of my adventures, you can imagine how many years. Now with everything learned, I realize it's a mistake, we can not stop growing, maybe not in number of people or consumption, but in quality of life, technology and wealth, which is the result of the foregoing.
I have personally talked a lot about degrowth, both to economists and environmentalists, and I do not agree with them because of their dogmatism and obsession to go back in time.'

(translation of: 'Siguiendo el hilo de hace unos días, te confesaré que yo fui un gran seguidor del decrecimiento, incluso mucho antes que se hablara de él. Por mis andanzas puedes imaginar cuántos años. Ahora, con todo lo aprendido, me doy cuenta que es un error, que no podemos dejar de crecer, quizá no en cantidad de seres humanos o de consumo, pero sí en calidad de vida, en tecnología y en riqueza, que es el resultado de lo anterior. Personalmente he hablado bastante de decrecimiento, tanto con economistas como con ambientalistas, y no coincido con ellos por su dogmatismo y obsesión por volver atrás.')

And this was my reply:

'Muchos de los 2500 que concurrieron a la conferencia de Leipzig están de acuerdo contigo, creo, por lo que he escuchado en pláticas con algunos. Dogmáticos y obsesionados hay por todos lados, como sabes. La cuestión es, como bien dices, crecer en qué?'
(translation: 'Many of those who attended the 2500 conference in Leipzig agree with you, I think, from what I've heard in talks with some. Dogmatic and obsessed persons are everywhere, as you know. The question is, as you say, growing in what aspects?'

'The thread of a few days ago' my friend in Barcelona referred to had to do with a previous post on this blog which I copied on another blog I write, in Spanish. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Changing the dynamics of society to realise a peaceful, prosperous and equal world community

We have to change the cultural, social, political and economic dynamics of society and the world community, otherwise we will not be able to combat unemployment, reduce the use of fossil energy, reduce the emission of carbon dioxide, reduce poverty, establish peace and restore calmness to the thinking and acting of consumers, business people, policymakers and young kids.

For too long we have let run the wheel of the world by competition, rivalry, restless thirst for power, grandiosity, megalomania, mass psychological stress, mass and individual fear because of uncertainty and insecurity, and, last but not least, democracy that has become an instrument of control of people instead of giving them a voice to jointly decide in what kind of a world we would like to live, thinking about the fate of ourselves, others, and future generations.

Only if we change the mentality, the routines and the rivalry we will be able to create a more prosperous, happy, and meaningful world community characterised by peace, the satisfaction of basic needs, mutual understanding and worldwide cooperation.

We need to establish a more equal world community by taxing the rich, increasing the income of the poor, and stimulating the rise of new politicians who are interested in working for a better society, at home and abroad.

Universities should become centres for education, research and dialogue geared at the interests of the whole world population and not of the happy few. They should engage in fundamental research, not dominated by particular political interests, in policy research, education and dialogue inspired by the wish to contribute to a peaceful, prosperous and equal world community.

I came to these thoughts, that are still in progress, as a result of thinking about ways to solve some fundamental problems the world community is facing. If you want to contribute to this thinking, please send me an e-mail: jj.teunissen@fondad.org