At 17:00 CET on Monday the 4th July, Project Forum hosted a debate on the effects of economic liberalisation in Central Eastern Europe.
This debate featured Philipp Ther and Miroslav Beblavý and, on this page, you can find more information on both the speakers and the background to this event as well as extended video highlights. For people with a little more time, this page also contains a link to a full (English-language) recording of the evening.
The primacy of economic growth has consistently been called into question since the financial crisis of 2007/2008, however, much of its critique has been framed within Western parameters. This debate therefore took a look at the history and consequences of the growth imperative within a Central Eastern European context.
From the collapse of the Eastern Bloc, through different approaches to transition, EU accession, the global financial crisis of 2007/2008 and its aftermath, this debate looked at the evolution of the relationships between the growth imperative, economic liberalisation and democratic development in the countries of Central Eastern Europe [CEEC].
The Austrian academic Philipp Ther joined the Slovak politician and researcher Miroslav Beblavý to analyse how alternative socio-economic models ultimately lost out to the adoption of Washington Consensus proposals throughout CEEC, exploring why this was, where the adoption of these proposals succeeded and/or failed and what it is that has determined their failure or success and led to different developments throughout the region.
Has reducing government spending increased prosperity and what effect has prioritising economic growth had on corruption and social indicators such as unemployment? Furthermore, to what extent have the strengths and weaknesses of economic liberalisation and the adoption of the primacy of economic growth impacted upon democratic and demographic development and the state of politics within the CEEC today?
Miroslav Beblavý is a member of the National Council of the Slovak Republic and a senior research fellow at the Centre for European Policy Studies in Brussels
Philipp Ther is a professor and the head of the University of Vienna’s Institute for Eastern European History. Philipp Ther recently won the Leipzig Book Fair non-fiction prize for his new book, Die neue Ordnung auf dem alten Kontinent. Eine Geschichte des neoliberalen Europa [The New Order on the Old Continent. A History of Neoliberal Europe] (Suhrkamp Verlag, 2014)
Michal Hvorecký is a Slovak writer, blogger, columnist and translator
This debate took place with the support of the European Union’s Europe for Citizens Programme and was one debate of many taking place as part of an international series of debates on the same theme in cities around Europe, including Barcelona, Bratislava, Brussels, London, Sofia and Warsaw.
Café Next Apache, Panenská 28, Bratislava
25 Years of transition. Post-Communist Europe and the IMF by James Roaf, Ruben Atoyan, Bikas Joshi, Krzysztof Krogulski
and an IMF staff team
After democratic transition by Szabolcs Pogonyi
A new dawn: reigniting growth in Central and Eastern Europe by Eric Labaye, Pål Erik Sjåtil, Wojtek Bogdan, Jurica Novak, Jan Mischke, Mladen Fruk and Oana Ionuțiu
CEE countries: from industrial dinosaurs to world-class growth rates by Neil Buckley (Financial Times paywall!)
CEE economies move forward to more sustainable growth model by Maja Garaca
Central Europe fit for the future: 10 years after EU accession edited by Milan Nič and Paweł Świeboda
Divergence and convergence in Eastern Europe or Eurasia: one transition path or two? by Robyn Melzig and Ron Sprout
East Central European economic transition and the West by Tamás Réti
Eastern Europe’s 25 Years of Transition by David Lipton
Financial development and economic growth: empirical evidence from the CEE and CIS Countries by Laura Cojocaru , Saul Hoffman and Jeffrey Miller
Fiscal decentralisation and economic growth in Central and Eastern Europe by Andrés Rodríguez-Pose and Anne Krøijer
Innovation and economic growth: the case of Slovakia by Kushtrim Braha, Artan Qineti and Roman Serenčéš
Is there more than meets the eye to Poland’s history of the transition? by Time to Talk and Krytyka Polityczna
No time to lose hope: Central Europe at breaking point by Michal Koran
Reaping the benefits of a transition to greener growth in Slovakia by Caroline Klein
Social investment and state capacity by Miroslav Beblavý and Alžbeta Hájková
The EU enlargement and economic growth in the CEE new member countries by Ryszard Rapacki and Mariusz Próchniak
The second transition: Eastern Europe in perspective by Stefania Fabrizio, Daniel Leigh and Ashoka Mody
The complexities of economic transition: lessons from the Czech Republic and Slovakia by Rita O. Koyame-Marsh
‘Trade and economic reform in transition economies’ in Trade Reforms and Food Security: Conceptualising the Linkages by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations
Which growth model for Central and Eastern Europe after the crisis? by Michael A. Landesmann
Whither Growth in Central and Eastern Europe? Policy lessons for an Integrated Europe bv Torbjörn Becker, Daniel Daianu, Zsolt Darvas,
Vladimir Gligorov, Michael Landesmann, Pavle Petrovic, Jean Pisani-Ferry, Dariusz Rosati, André Sapir And Beatrice Weder Di Mauro
Der Expresszug und sein Speisewagen von György Dalos
Die fremderen Fremden ein Interview von Jens Bisky
Philipp Ther analysiert Europas neoliberale Ordnung von Jörg Hafkemeyer