The financial crisis that turned into a global economic recession has brought about detailed analysis on the structural problems of the financial markets and the global economic imbalances. Now is the time to look to the future and analyse the implications of the crisis in economical, political and social life. What is to come next? How to anticipate transformations and what are the policy solutions available to shape the outcomes of the recession period?
The first plenary session of the Kalevi Sorsa Research and Policy Days will focus on rethinking economic policy and sociological implications of the crisis as well as offer perspectives of the future development. Will the crisis reshape economic policy thinking? Will there be changes in values and behaviour of individuals and what are the future trends in the social sphere? The discussion will be opened by Lord Meghnad Desai, Professor Emeritus of Economics at the London School of Economics and Political Science and Clive Hamilton, Professor of Public Ethics at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics based at the Australian National University.
The plenary session of the second day is focused on the political consequences of the crisis and the social democratic challenges ahead. What have we learned in the aftermath of the crisis? What are the possibilities for policy-making to respond to the challenges? The topic is introduced by Jón Baldvin Hannibalsson, Former Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade of Iceland, who discusses political implications and future prospects of the crisis in the case of Iceland. Jenny Andersson, Associate Professor of Economic History at Sciences Po in Paris will re-examine the legacy of the Third Way project after the crisis.
Specific challenges and solutions will be debated in five working groups on Friday 6th November. The themes to be discussed are tax policy and income inequality, the possibilities of education in employment policy, the challenges to health care, new growth policies and strategies of green growth.
The event is organised by the Foundation for European Progressive Studies with the support of the Kalevi Sorsa Foundation.
Friday, 6th November
Juha Eskelinen, Kalevi Sorsa Foundation
François Isserel, Foundation for European Progressive Studies
12.30–13.30 CHANGE OF ECONOMIC POLICY PARADIGM?
Lord Meghnad Desai, Professor Emeritus of Economics at the London School of Economics and Political Science
13.30–14.30 SOCIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES – CHANGES IN VALUES AND BEHAVIOUR
Clive Hamilton, Professor of Public Ethics at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics based at the Australian National University
14.30–15.00 Coffee break
15.00–18.00 WORKING GROUP SESSIONS
19.00 RECEPTION hosted by the City of Helsinki
Saturday, 7th November
10.00–11.00 ICELAND AND THE CURRENT ECONOMIC CRISIS – POLITICAL IMPLICATIONS AND THE WAY FORWARD
Jón Baldvin Hannibalsson, Former Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade of Iceland
11.00–12.00 Social Democracy without a Future: Rethinking Legacies of the Third Way
Jenny Andersson, Associate Professor of Economic History, based in the Centre d’études et des relations internationales, Sciences Po
13.00–14.00 Working group results
Chairs of the working groups present their results
14.00–15.30 Closing debate: FUTURES AFTER THE FINANCIAL CRISIS
OUT OF THE RECESSION WITH EDUCATION?
Sebastian de Toro, Political Advisor at the Swedish Social Democratic Parliamentary Group
Challenges of expected labour shortage and maintaining the competitiveness of European countries in the future have emphasised the role of education in employment policy. At the same time, due to the global recession, Europe faces alarming unemployment rates that require rapid solutions. What kinds of education policies are needed to respond to the current situation? How could the sufficiency of work force and high level vocational qualifications be maintained in the future? Who should be educated? How and to what? How do we take into account the immigrants, the elderly and other special groups when the demand for education has risen?
NEW GROWTH STRATEGIES UNDER A REGIME OF ‘GOOD CAPITALISM’
Christian Kellermann, Director of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation for the Nordic Countries
After the crisis social democrats have been discussing the new balance between the state and the market. But so far no consistent concept has been provided that would catch all the dimensions of a functioning and sustainable economic model for the future. How could capitalism be made good in a sense that it would deliver to all the people in the system? Such a model rests on four pillars: (1) banks and the financial system, (2) wages and labour markets, (3) the public sector and (4) “the world” (global governance). What kinds of growth strategies are possible under a regime of ‘Good Capitalism’?
TAXATION AND INCOME (IN)EQUALITY
Matti Tuomala, Researcher of Economics at the Department of Economics and Accounting at the University of Tampere
The income inequality in Finland has increased rapidly since the mid-1990`s. The income tax progressivity has declined during the same period, but to which extent can this development be explained through changes in tax policy? In general, what is the role of tax progressivity in combating income inequality and what can the international comparisons on tax progressivity and income inequality tell us?
A NEW GREEN DEAL FOR THE FUTURE – WHAT DOES IT STAND FOR?
Lena Sommestad, CEO of Svensk Fjärrvärme, former Minister of the Environment of Sweden
The global financial crisis has opened new opportunities for environmentally sustainable growth and investments to combat climate change. European economies are now looking to ‘Green Growth’ as a way out of the crisis. What does ‘Green Growth’ really mean? How can the economic and climate crisis be solved together? What does it take to make ‘Green Growth’ a reality?
HEALTH IN THE CRISIS
Recessions have previously had severe health consequences, with e.g. higher mortality, depression and substance abuse. People are also likely to neglect health care, especially prevention, and authorities are seeking to cut costs as revenues decline. What are the impacts of the crisis for the health care systems in Europe? How can progressive forces prevent the fiscal crisis from becoming a social and health crisis, with long term repercussions?
Jenny Andersson is Associate Professor of Economic History, based in the Centre d’études et des relations internationales, Sciences Po, Paris. She is also an affiliated researcher with the Swedish Institute for Futures Studies, Stockholm. She is the author of Between Growth and Security: Swedish Social Democracy from a Strong Society to a Third Way (Manchester University Press, 2006) and The Library and the Workshop: Social Democracy and Capitalism in an Age of Knowledge (Stanford University Press, 2009).
Sebastian de Toro is political advisor at the Swedish Social Democratic Parliamentary Group. He is currently writing a report on Education Policy together with Pär Nuder, former Minister for Finance, for the FEPS.
Lord Meghnad Desai is Professor Emeritus of Economics at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He is the founder of the Centre for the Study of Global Governance. From 1990-1995 he was Director of LSE’s Development Studies Institute. He is the author of several publications on economics, among them Marx’s Revenge: The Resurgence of Capitalism and the Death of Statist Socialism (2002).
Clive Hamilton is Charles Sturt Professor of Public Ethics at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics based at the Australian National University. Until early 2008 he was the Executive Director of The Australia Institute, Australia’s leading progressive think tank, which he founded in 1993. He is the author of a number of best-selling books, including Growth Fetish, Affluenza (with Richard Denniss), Silencing Dissent (with Sarah Maddison) and Scorcher: The dirty politics of climate change.
Jón Baldvin Hannibalsson is former Minister of Finance (1987-88) and Foreign Affairs and External Trade (1988-1995) of Iceland. He was the leader of The Social-democratic Party – SDP – (1984-1996). He was the Chief negotiator for Iceland on the European Economic Area Agreement (EEA), 1989-93. He holds M.A. (Econ.) from Edinburgh University (1963); and undertook Postgraduate work in Economics at Stockholm University (1963-64) and Harvard (1976-77).
Dr Christian Kellermann, is the Director of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation for the Nordic Countries, based in Stockholm, Sweden. He was previously a Program Manager at the Foundation’s International Policy Analysis Department in Berlin, specializing in European economic and social affairs and financial markets. He holds a doctorate degree in Global Political Economy from the Universities of Kassel and Frankfurt.
Lena Sommestad is Chief Executive of the Swedish District Heating Association. She was the Minister of the Environment of Sweden in 2002-2006. Sommestad was appointed Professor of Economic History at the University of Uppsala in 2001 and she was General Director of the Institute for Futures Studies in 1998-2002. She is Deputy Member of the Council of Sweden’s central bank Sveriges Riksbank.
Matti Tuomala, Dr.Soc.Sc, is Researcher of Economics at the Department of Economics and Accounting at the University of Tampere. His fields of specialization include, among others, public sector economics, economic inequality and theories of optimal taxation.