European Economic Integration and Populism: Foes or Allies?

Lecture | March 7 | 12-1 p.m. | 201 Moses Hall

 Dariusz Adamski, University of Wrocław

 Institute of European Studies, Institute of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ISEEES)

Could it be that one of the most extraordinary experiments in international reconciliation and community-building in the history of mankind – European integration after World War II – has contributed to what European Commission President Juncker once dubbed “galloping populism”? Seeking an answer to this question, Dariusz Adamski will dissect the nature of the major economic policies of the European Union: the European Monetary Union, the internal market, its redistributive policies, and its approach to international trade. He will argue that these linchpins of European economic integration have amplified divisions between “the winners” and “the losers” of the other main contemporary trends: globalization, changing demographics, and technological revolution. The populist surge should arguably be perceived first and foremost as a counter-reaction to these trends, intended to stymie their effects on the less economically and socially adapted groups experiencing a growing sense of political, economic, and cultural deprivation, alienation, and instability. This counter-reaction might well demolish the European project altogether unless European institutions are allowed to recalibrate their policies to make them substantially more accommodative towards the concerns and the interests of “the losers.” This argument has serious implications for the democratic systems of the world’s other major constitutional systems as well.

Dariusz Adamski is Law Professor, Vice-Dean for Research and International Cooperation and Head of Centre for European Economic Law and Governance at the Faculty of Law, Administration and Economics, University of Wrocław, Poland and author of "Redefining European Economic Integration" (2018), 510-643 4558