Author Archive

A ‘magnificent achievement,’ imperilled

Written by Henry Goodwin. Posted in Current features, Features, Uncategorised

As dignitaries gathered in Belfast last week to commemorate twenty years since the Good Friday agreement was signed, ending over three decades of bloody sectarian conflict on the island of Ireland, a Brexit-shaped shadow loomed large. According to Professor Brigid Laffan, Director of the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, London’s apparent reluctance to take the Irish problem seriously could lead to the unravelling of Good Friday and the reappearance of violence on the border.

Building South Sudan

Written by Henry Goodwin. Posted in Current profiles, Profiles, Uncategorised

South Sudan is the world’s youngest country. After nearly 99% of eligible voters opted to secede from Sudan in 2011, people like William Lochi set about putting in place the building blocks that he and many others hoped would lead to South Sudan becoming a successful democracy. Progress has been fitful thus far, marred by on-off civil conflict and political upheaval. However Lochi, the Deputy-Secretary General of the South Sudanese government, remains optimistic that South Sudan’s future is bright. In Florence to undertake a Young Policy Leader fellowship at the School of Transnational Governance, Lochi hopes to return to Juba with a fresh perspective on governing and policymaking in his fledgling home country.

Italy redraws its political landscape

Written by Henry Goodwin. Posted in Current features, Features

After a fraught campaign, Italians went to the polls on 4 March. The results have confirmed the decline of the country’s traditional political elites, and consolidated the rise of populist and anti-establishment parties that are threatening to redraw Italy’s political landscape. As coalition horse-trading begins, Fabio Bulfone and Lorenzo Cicchi of the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies try to unpack what happened, what it means, and what comes next.

How do you solve a problem like globalisation?

Written by Henry Goodwin. Posted in Current profiles, Profiles

When Dani Rodrik published ‘Has Globalisation Gone Too Far?’ in 1997, his contention that not everyone stood to gain from increased global economic integration was laughed at. Twenty years later, with populist candidates riding a wave of anti-establishment, anti-globalisation anger at the ballot box, Rodrik’s insights seem more revelatory than ridiculous. Fast forward two decades, and the Turkish-born economist has a lot of ideas about how to re-write the rules of globalisation for the better. This time round, everyone would be wise to listen to him.

Dani Rodrik is the Ford Foundation Professor of International Political Economy at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He visited the EUI on 14 February to deliver a Max Weber Lecture entitled ‘Globalisation and the Populist Backlash’.

Monitoring racism

Written by Henry Goodwin. Posted in Current profiles, Profiles

From Europe to Myanmar, the world is in the grips of a racism emergency. Exacerbating the crisis is a lack of information. Despite there being a cornucopia of important and insightful academic research on and about racism and anti-racism, there has been nowhere for the vast majority of people to access it. Until now. MONITOR: Global Intelligence on Racism is a new online multimedia magazine and portal that aims to become the go-to source for research-based public debate on racism, housed at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies and part of its Global Governance Programme. Ahead of its launch this week, EUI Times spoke with MONITOR’s editor, Monica Gonzalez-Correa, about what inspired the magazine, and why its intervention is so important in the current moment.

The ‘rule of law crisis’, Europe’s most existential challenge

Written by Henry Goodwin. Posted in Current features, Features

For all its travails in recent years, the European Union has generally been adept at responding to crisis. However, creeping authoritarianism in eastern Europe, and the EU’s subsequent inability to muster a coherent response, is posing a unique and threatening challenge to Brussels’ authority. Speaking at an event hosted by the School of Transnational Governance in January, Kim Lane Scheppele – the Lawrence S. Rockefeller Professor of Sociology and International Affairs at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School – argued the contravention of the rule of law by aggressive governments in Hungary and Poland in particular are exposing an uncomfortable reality for the EU: it seems unable to discipline its own member states.

Social media: Democracy’s poisoned chalice

Written by Henry Goodwin. Posted in Current features, Features

Not long ago, social media were being hailed as an unprecedented force for plurality and progress in modern-day democracies. The impact of platforms like Facebook and Twitter are widely seen as integral in organising and mobilising the popular protests that brought about the toppling of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt in 2011 and Victor Yanukovych in 2013. Yet, as evidence continues to surface about Russian attempts to subvert the 2016 US election, talk of social media’s power has become inextricably linked with the danger that it poses to democracy. How did we get here? And, looking ahead, what can be done to return social media to their former glory?

Reassessing the Brexit battleground

Written by Henry Goodwin. Posted in Current events, Current features, Events, Features

may-feat

Despite the fogginess of the British government’s approach to Brexit, there is little desire among the electorate to see the referendum played out again, according to Matthew Goodwin, a politics professor and Brexit expert from the University of Kent. Speaking at an event organised by the Migration Policy Centre at the Schuman Centre last week, Goodwin pointed out that there has been little change in public opinion towards Brexit in the eighteen months since the referendum. In fact, if anything, Leavers and Remainers’ positions have hardened. After delivering his lecture at Villa Schifanoia, Goodwin sat down with EUI Times, to discuss what comes next for Britain and the EU, and how we got here in the first place.

Matthew Goodwin is Professor of Politics at the University of Kent and a Senior Visiting Fellow at Chatham House. His new book, ‘Brexit: Why Britain Voted to Leave the European Union’, was published earlier this year.

Central banks ‘have never seemed so powerful,’ says Patrick Honohan

Written by Henry Goodwin. Posted in Current events, Current features, Events, Features

Honohands

When the European Central Bank woke up to crisis in 2008, they quickly realised that it was their responsibility to stabilise the money market, despite some saying they were acting above their station. Speaking at Villa La Fonte last week, Patrick Honohan, the former Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland, argued that the crisis drew the ECB and its affiliates into policy areas where its mandate was implicit, though no less real. Now, he claims, those central banks have ‘never seemed so powerful.’

Patrick Honohan was delivering a lecture for the Florence School of Banking and Finance on ‘Central Banking in Europe Today: Over-Mighty or Under-Powered?’ on 27th November. Honohan was Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland and a member of the Governing Council of the European Central Bank from September 2009 to November 2015. He is an honorary Professor of economics at Trinity College Dublin, non-resident Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, DC and member of the Scientific Committee of the Florence School of Banking and Finance. The event was made possible by the support of Fondazione CR Firenze.

The road from Damascus

Written by Henry Goodwin. Posted in Current profiles, Profiles

Hussain - feature

When the Arab Spring spilled into Syria in 2011, Dima Hussain believed that the time had finally come to change her country’s long-entrenched status quo. Today, Syria’s civil war still rages on, and the regime that so many Syrians had sought to topple seems as strong as ever. Nonetheless Hussain, now a first-year Law researcher at the EUI, remains optimistic that one day she will return to Damascus, to a Syria imbued with the idealism that sparked a revolution over six years ago.