Diverging Capitalisms, Part 4. Inequality, Growth and Social Democratic futures in a dividing Europe

11 October 2017

Rue Montoyer, 40. 1000 Brussels, Belgium

This workshop is the fourth and final workshop in ‘Diverging Capitalisms? Britain, the City of London and Europe’ project, which is a joint venture between FEPS (Foundation for European Progressive Studies, Brussels), Policy Network, and SPERI (Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute, University of Sheffield). The aim of the project is to consider the changing nature of the British economy, its place within the European economic space and the consequences of Brexit. The work undertaken will feed into a number of policy briefs, and in the publication of an edited book with Palgrave.

The purpose of this fourth and final workshop in the series is to discuss social democratic initiatives for future competitiveness, growth and inequality reduction in the context of a dividing Europe. Beset by a range of economic crises since 2008, the current juncture allows Europe to consider the possibility of a more progressive approach to economic governance after Brexit and the need to tackle the institutional settlement which has underpinned the escalation of distributional inequalities. This workshop is set to explore the opportunities for tackling the low growth, high debt, and high inequality economies in the UK and across Europe.

Workshop questions:        

  • Can Social Democracy be staged simply at the national level?
  • What does Social Democracy mean in the context of a dividing Europe?
  • Does Brexit represent an opportunity for a more progressive response to Europe’s economic problems?
  • To what extent does inequality emerge from diverging capitalist formations?
  • What are the effects of Brexit on inequality within the UK and between European countries?
  • How might the reform of European capitalism contribute to more egalitarian outcomes?



Welcome address, Maria João Rodrigues MEP (FEPS) and Colin Hay (SPERI)


Session 1 – Inequality, nationalism and social democratic policy space

Presentation: Prof. Ben Clift (University of Warwick)

Discussant: Dr. Amandine Crespy (Université Libre de Bruxelles)                                 

Chair: Lisa Kastner (FEPS)

 12:20-12:50     Lunch


Session 2 – EU industrial policy, the foundations of competitiveness, and social democratic futures

Presentation: Dr. Laura Horn (Roskilde University) and Dr. Angela Wigger (Radboud University)

 Discussant: Jakob von Weizsäcker MEP (Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament)

Chair: Sandra Parthie (Head of European Affairs, Institut der Deutschen Wirtschaft Köln)

14:15-14:30     Short break


Roundtable – Diverging Capitalisms? Reflections and conclusions.                   

Panellists:  Ernst Stetter (FEPS), Patrick Diamond (Policy Network) and Colin Hay (SPERI).

Chair: Peter S. Goodman (Europe economics correspondent for the New York Times and Editor-in-Chief of International Business Times)

15:55-16:00     Closing

For more information please email Daniel Bailey: Daniel.Bailey@Sheffield.ac.uk