European imbalances: From financial to social crisis

The course provides an overview of the recent financial and economic crisis in Europe and its impact on society. Our aim is to understand the crisis dynamics and the manifold social consequences, in qualitative and quantitative terms, based on concepts like core and periphery, convergence and divergence, as well as economic, social and territorial cohesion. In the last 25 years, with Eastern enlargements and an imperfect monetary union, the EU became not only more diverse but also more imbalanced and polarized than before. Exploring the nature of East-West and North-South imbalances in the EU and understanding the relevant public policy agendas are key objectives.

Students are expected to be familiar with the basics of economics, sociology and political science, as well as the functioning of the European Union. They also have to be able to absorb and use key statistical concepts to measure growth, employment, poverty and inequality, and connect such indicators with political, economic and demographic analysis.