Due to unforeseen circumstances the event with Torben Iversen and David Soskice has been postponed. ACES apologises for any inconvenience caused. It is hoped the event will be rescheduled for a later date.
It is a widespread view that democracy and the advanced nation-state are in crisis, weakened by globalization and undermined by global capitalism, in turn explaining rising inequality and mounting populism. 'Democracy and Prosperity' argues this view is wrong: advanced democracies are resilient, and their enduring historical relationship with capitalism has been mutually beneficial.
For all the chaos and upheaval over the past century—major wars, economic crises, massive social change, and technological revolutions—Torben Iversen and David Soskice show how democratic states continuously reinvent their economies through massive public investment in research and education, by imposing competitive product markets and cooperation in the workplace, and by securing macroeconomic discipline as the preconditions for innovation and the promotion of the advanced sectors of the economy. Critically, this investment has generated vast numbers of well-paying jobs for the middle classes and their children, focusing the aims of aspirational families, and in turn providing electoral support for parties. Gains at the top have also been shared with the middle (though not the bottom) through a large welfare state.
Contrary to the prevailing wisdom on globalization, advanced capitalism is neither footloose nor unconstrained: it thrives under democracy precisely because it cannot subvert it. Populism, inequality, and poverty are indeed great scourges of our time, but these are failures of democracy and must be solved by democracy.
Iversen and Soskice will first present their core message, after which Theresa Kuhn and Frank Vandenbroucke will reflect, followed by discussion with the audience.
Torben Iversen is the Harold Hitchings Burbank Professor of Political Economy at Harvard University. His books include Women, Work, and Politics and Capitalism, Democracy, and Welfare.
David Soskice is School Professor of Political Science and Economics at the London School of Economics and Political Science. His books include Macroeconomics: Institutions, Instability, and the Financial System (with Wendy Carlin) and Varieties of Capitalism (edited with Peter A. Hall).
Theresa Kuhn is Associate Professor in Political Science at the University of Amsterdam. She received the UACES Best Book Prize for her book Experiencing European Integration. Transnational Lives and European Identity (Oxford University Press 2015).
Frank Vandenbroucke is University Professor at the University of Amsterdam. His research focuses on the impact of the EU on the development of social and employment policy in the EU Member States.