Our Thinkers on Europe series features discussions with political and social theorists on issues affecting European states and European society. The topics covered include theories of democracy, the development of modernity, and contemporary approaches to European politics.

Thinkers on Europe

November 2014

Robert O. Keohane: “We shouldn’t fool ourselves by believing that global governance will soon be made democratic”

Can global governance through organisations such as the United Nations and the World Trade Organization ever be made properly democratic? In an interview with EUROPP’s editor Stuart Brown, Robert O. Keohane discusses the problems with establishing global democratic governance, the distinction between liberal constitutionalist achievements and democracy, and why we should be sceptical of claims that a global democracy is just around the corner.

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October 2014

Nigel Dodd: “Bitcoin has opened up the debate about the future of money”

Should our understanding of money change in light of the emergence of new forms of currency such as bitcoin? In an interview with EUROPP’s editor Stuart Brown, Nigel Dodd discusses the origin stories of money, how these stories have underpinned the response to the financial crisis, and what bitcoin and other digital currencies mean for the future of money.

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June 2014

Thomas Piketty: “We don’t need 19th century-style inequality to generate growth in the 21st century”

In an interview with EUROPP’s editor Stuart Brown and British Politics and Policy at LSE’s editor Joel Suss, Thomas Piketty discusses the rise in income and wealth inequality outlined in his book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, and what policies should be adopted to prevent us returning to the kind of extreme levels of inequality experienced in Europe prior to the First World War.

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April 2014

Phillip Blond: “We’re looking at a complete collapse of standard left and right ideologies”

Traditional political and economic models have been challenged by their inability to predict the financial crisis and their failure to bring about a return to prosperity. In an interview with EUROPP’s Managing Editor Stuart Brown, Phillip Blond discusses the collapse of left-wing and right-wing ideologies, the new majorities that may take their place, and why despite the EU’s failings, becoming the leading power in Europe still offers Britain its best route to leading events on the world stage.

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November 2013

Anthony Giddens: “The European social model can and must survive the crisis”

What does the Eurozone crisis mean for the future of Europe? In an interview with EUROPP’s Managing Editor Stuart Brown, Anthony Giddens outlines the structural factors underpinning the crisis, the benefits of EU membership, and why maintaining the European social model as a social investment state is of crucial importance for European countries.

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September 2013

Chantal Mouffe: “Most countries in Europe are in a post-political situation”

Is there a fundamental lack of choice between centre-left and centre-right parties in European party systems? The EUROPP team spoke to Chantal Mouffe on her theory of ‘post-politics’, the need for political parties to offer a real alternative on European integration, and whether populism can have a positive effect on European democracy.

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June 2013

Sylvia Walby: “If the Eurozone crisis means that Europe fragments, that would be a serious problem for gender equality”

What is the EU’s role in improving gender equality across Europe, and does the on-going Eurozone crisis have the potential to exacerbate inequalities in European society? EUROPP’s editors spoke to Sylvia Walby, Distinguished Professor of Sociology and UNESCO Chair in Gender Research, Lancaster University, about the impact the EU has made in tackling gender inequality, how different forms of inequality intersect, and the threat posed to gender equality by the Eurozone crisis.

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May 2013

Theda Skocpol: “Even those on the American centre-left are now viewing Europe in a negative sense because of austerity”

Should the organisations of the state be seen as independent actors, or are they simply reflective of groups within society? EUROPP’s editors spoke to Theda Skocpol about her contribution to ‘state theory’ and the effect of European integration on EU states. She also outlines some of her recent research on climate change legislation, and addresses the parallels between the Tea Party movement in the United States and populist movements in Europe.

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Saskia Sassen: “The issue right now is not the lack of discipline in Eurozone economies; it’s the financialisation of everything”

Has the Eurozone crisis undermined Europe’s place in the world? In an interview with EUROPP’s editors Stuart A Brown and Chris Gilson, Saskia Sassen discusses the role of finance in the crisis, the threat posed by transnational systems of surveillance, and the potential for public disorder to give a political voice to the powerless.

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April 2013

Jeffrey C. Alexander: “Southern European countries are not just experiencing an economic crisis, but also an identity crisis”

Is there a ‘dark side’ to European modernity? EUROPP’s editors Stuart A Brown and Chris Gilson spoke to Jeffrey C. Alexander about his views on modernity, the European integration process, and the importance of cultural and political symbols to European democracy.

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William Outhwaite: “The chic ultra-right populism of Geert Wilders and others is certainly worrying”

EUROPP’s editors Stuart A Brown and Chris Gilson spoke to Professor of Sociology William Outhwaite about the EU’s democratic deficit, the rise of the far-right, and whether sociologists should do more to engage with the subject of European integration.

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Michael Mann: “Globalisation has never been a singular process; it’s always been a multiple one”

How do we conceptualise processes of globalisation, and what impact does European integration have on nation states? EUROPP’s editors spoke to Michael Mann about his view of globalisation, the effect of the European Union on European states, and the rise of the far-right in Europe.

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March 2013

Ulrich Beck: “Germany has created an accidental empire”

Are we now living in a German Europe? In an interview with EUROPP editors Stuart A Brown and Chris Gilson, Ulrich Beck discusses German dominance of the European Union, the divisive effects of austerity policies, and the relevance of his concept of the ‘risk society’ to the current problems being experienced in the Eurozone.

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Colin Crouch: “A post-democratic society is one that continues to have and to use all the institutions of democracy, but in which they increasingly become a formal shell”

While many observers have pointed to signs of malaise within liberal democracies, the political sociologist Colin Crouch has argued that we are in fact witnessing a transition towards a post-democratic society. In this article Mark Carrigan talks to Colin Crouch about his account of post-democracy.

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December 2012

NoamChomskyNoam Chomsky – “Europe’s policies make sense only on one assumption: that the goal is to try and undermine and unravel the welfare state.”

In an interview with EUROPP editors Stuart A Brown and Chris Gilson, Noam Chomsky discusses technocratic governance in Europe, why the eurozone’s austerity policies are failing to solve the crisis, and the rise of the far-right in countries such as Greece and France.

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Note:  The above articles give the views of the authors, and not the position of EUROPP – European Politics and Policy, nor of the London School of Economics.

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