After ’89, the ideology of ‘free’ markets prevailed not just in eastern Europe, but also in the West. The consequences were particularly evident in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis and the 2010 euro crisis. What effect did the economic restructuring have on the European project and what are the key issues facing Europe today?
Contra the myths of ‘shock therapy’, economic transformation after ’89 was not a one-way street. Rather, argues Philipp Ther, it is better understood as a set of ‘neoliberal feedback loops’ between East and West. Transnational convergences accompanied growing internal inequalities, the partial success of neoliberalism taking its toll on the peripheries.
Economic historian Philipp Ther of the University of Vienna gave a lecture at the 30th European Meeting of Cultural Journals ‘Europe ‘89: The promise recalled’, 2 November 2019 in Berlin.
Read Ther’s corresponding article in Eurozine:
Published 3 February 2020
Original in English
First published by Eurozine
© Philipp Ther / Eurozine / Heinrich Böll StiftungPDF/PRINT
European cultural journals and the making of the public sphere
As the 25th European Meeting of Cultural Journals commences in Oslo, it is timely to remember that cultural journals have long facilitated a level of intellectual exchange indispensable to societies that put stock in democratic and cosmopolitan spirit. And, as ongoing crisis overshadows the upcoming European elections and the European integration project risks being reduced to the task of reaching formal economic goals, the contribution of cultural journals to a European public sphere is more important than ever.
Opening the 24th European Meeting of Cultural Journals, Jan Philipp Reemtsma recited a text by post-war German writer Arno Schmidt, recalling Europe’s “first great cooperative achievement”: the observation of the transit of Venus in 1769.