7.11.2008 Globalisation, Privatisation and Challenge to Democracy


Kalevi Sorsa -säätiö | 5.11.2008

The markets are global but democracy is still distinctively national in its character. In a world characterized by global economy, what are the limits of democratic control and policy-making? How does market pressure challenge global and national power relations? What kind of possibilities can supranational decision-making systems offer to respond to these challenges?

The first plenary session of the Kalevi Sorsa Research and Policy Days will focus on the
relationship between global capitalism and democracy. How can this relation be analysed? How is global capitalism affecting on the concept of Western democracy? How are economic forces shaping global power relations? The discussion will be opened by Vivien A. Schmidt, Jean Monnet Professor of European Integration, Uwe Wissenbach coordinator for Africa-China relations at the European Commission and Jörn Griesse, Economist at D&B Country Risk Services.

The plenary session of the second day focuses on new ideas and political means to respond to the challenges posed by global economy. What kinds of roles do nation states and supranational decision-making systems as well as political parties hold in this process? The topic is introduced by Pär Nuder, member of Parliament and former Minister for Finance.

Discussions in five working groups give the possibility to analyse current trends and the implications of economic globalisation through specific issues topical in national and international politics today. The focus is on what kinds of tendencies European societies should get ready for and what kinds of changes await the international system as a whole. How should progressive forces anticipate these transformations and what means of democratic influence and regulation are available?

The event is organised by The Foundation for European Progressive Studies with the support of the Kalevi Sorsa Foundation.

PROGRAMME

FRIDAY, 7TH NOVEMBER

12.30 Registration

13.15–13.30 Welcome
Ernst Stetter, Secretary General of the Foundation for European Progressive Studies
Maarit Feldt-Ranta, Chair of the board of the Kalevi Sorsa Foundation

13.30–14.10 Is global capitalism undermining western democracy?
Vivien A. Schmidt, Jean Monnet Professor of European Integration and Professor of
International Relations at Boston University

14.10–14.50 Capitalism and the authoritarian state – the case of China
Uwe Wissenbach, Coordinator for Africa-China relations at the European Commission

14.50–15.30 Forming the new blocks – Can soft power bypass hard power?
Jörn Griesse, Economist at D&B Country Risk Services

15.30–15.45 Coffee break

15.45–17.45 Working group session

18.00–19.30 Opening of exhibition:
”Dare to Venture Further on!” Willy Brandt – European and Statesman
courtesy of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung in Stockholm

20.00 Dinner
Restaurant Paasisali

SATURDAY, 8TH NOVEMBER

10.00–11.00 SOCIAL DEMOCRACY, CAPITALISM AND THE GLOBAL ECONOMY
Pär Nuder, Member of Parliament, Former Minister for Finance and Minister for Culture

11.00–12.00 Results of working groups

12.00–13.00 Lunch

13.00–14.30 Panel discussion: Globalisation, Privatisation and Challenge to Democracy
David Hall, Vivien A. Schmidt, Uwe Wissenbach

14.30 – 15.00 Closing remarks

WORKING GROUPS

PRIVATISATION OF COMMON RESPONSIBILITY – SOCIAL CONSEQUENCES OF COMMERCIALISED PUBLIC SERVICES

Anne-Marie Lindgren
Head of Research at Arbetarrörelsens Tankesmedja

Consequences of privatisation are under the debate in Europe. What is the outcome of the transformation of the public services in Nordic countries and its implications on the social life? The crucial questions relate closely to concepts of equality and transparency. To whom are public funds delivered? How to look over and guarantee fair use of the resources? What kinds of means for regulations and surveillance are available to ensure quality of services?

MARKET OR PUBLIC SECTOR – ECONOMICAL AND POLITICAL ISSUES IN OUTSOURCING, PPPs AND LIBERALISATION
David Hall
Director of the Public Services International Research Unit at the University of Greenwich

The interface between public and private sectors has always provided opportunities for corruption and private monopolies. The encouragement of outsourcing, privatisation and PPPs has increased these dangers, at the same time as weakening the traditional social democratic alternative of direct public sector provision. Does the economic rationale for privatisation and PPPs stand up to scrutiny in the light of experience? Do liberalised markets and EU-wide procurement rules create multinational oligopolies? Are competition and procurement rules sufficient to create genuinely competitive markets? Can procurement policies be used for social objectives? Can regulation of private actors be adequate without developing a stronger role for the public sector itself?

FREE MOVEMENT OF CAPITAL AND TAX HAVENS
Matti Kohonen
PhD candidate in sociology at the London School of Economics and Political Science

Possibilities of nation-states to control and regulate capital flows has decreased. An opt-out
situation that permits transfer of economic resources outside taxation of the states has been created. Is this possibility of avoiding taxes leading to decrease of democratic legitimacy
if states’ right to collect taxes is seen as an instrument to maintain its crucial position in
society and the taxes are pointed equally to every citizen? What kinds of international
cooperation and regulation is needed to restrain tax havens?

FINANCIAL MARKET CRISIS– WHAT’S NEXT?
Ieke van den Burg (tbc)
Member of the European Parliament

The financial market crisis has raised the questions of the future of the financial markets. Is financial capitalism at the end of the road? What are the future prospects to get ready for? Are there means to affect the situation and who will pay for it? How can we prepare and get ready for the economical impacts?

CONNECTIONS BETWEEN ECONOMY AND SECURITY IN THE CASE OF RUSSIA
Markku Kivinen
Director of the Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki

Russia has indicated its firm aspiration to regain a position as a great power. This goal can be seen in political, economical and military spheres. Can Russia economically integrate to the international system but diverge in security issues? The interdependence between the EU and Russia is unavoidable. Are there prospects for win-win development in this respect? To what extent are the different concepts of civic societies compatible? In the EU security is seen in a larger context than in military terms. What can we expect from the Russian economy with regard to sustainable development in environmental aspects?

 


 


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