137 Peripheries in Competition? The Politics and Political Economy of Convergence and Divergence in the EU

Thursday, July 13, 2017: 11:00 AM-12:45 PM
JWS - Stevenson Lecture Theatre (University of Glasgow)
The papers in this panel will focus on the following themes. The overarching theme regards the long-term developmental legacies, both political and economic, found in Southern, Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and how they contribute to, or mitigate divergence from the EU core. This question is enormously salient giben the much greater impact of the recent financial crisis on southern Europe than elsewhere, and the divide that is appearing between the older EU member states and their CEE counterparts over issues of European solidarity (the rejection by the Visegrad group of countries of the EU's refugee quotas), and the rise there of illiberal democracy, most evidently in Hungary and Poland. Sub-themes include the following: Has integration with the EU – along various dimensions – helped overcome impediments to political and economic convergence or has it exacerbated them? How successful has the EU been in helping to “lock-in” democratic change in the Eastern and Southern peripheries and what kinds of instruments can the EU use to safeguard the political change in those countries that qualified them for membership? How successful has the EU been in promoting political and economic developments in the current candidates and neighbourhood countries despite weaker or absent membership conditionality? Are there longue dureé, path-dependent, structural economic or institutional features of the EU peripheries that are highly resistant to policy manipulation? Why do longstanding developmental divisions in Europe appear so difficult to undo? Is this a consequence of domestic institutional legacies, or a failure of the EU model?

Kevin Featherstone
Discussant :
Abby Innes
Good and Bad Banking on Europe’s Periphery: Pathways to Catching up and Falling behind
Martin Rhodes, University of Denver; Rachel Ann Epstein, Unviversity of Denver
Drunk on Conditionality: The Move to Coercive Conditionality in the EU Periphery
Jonathan Hopkin, London School of Economics and Political Science
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