Volume 6 (2) - 7 (1)

Copyright @2015 Australian and New Zealand Journal of European Studies

Vol 6(2)-7(1) NZ ISSN 1837-2147 (Print) & AUS ISSN 1836-1803 (Online)

Editorial

tbc

 

Stuart Bruce (Monash University, Clayton) Considering the Eurozone Crisis - In light of the Eurozone crisis, how essential is the current incarnation of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) for prosperity in Europe and how can understanding the causes of the crisis inform potential adaptations? (pg. 2)

The Eurozone crisis is proving highly instructive for the study of ideological constructs and their key impact on political discourse and economic systems. Lynn (2011) argues that the Eurozone crisis has the potential to “turn the European Union into a dark, oppressive force … demanding cuts and austerity for its members, imposing taxes they don’t want to pay, and lengthening recessions that already look severe enough … Slowly but surely that will undermine [the EU’s] public legitimacy and support”1. The purpose of this paper is to explore how to sustain the noble project of a political union in Europe by understanding the economic problems and ideologies that threaten to undermine it.

This paper will unfold in three sections and aims to address, in parallel, the economic and political dimensions of the EMU crisis. First, I will explore the original arguments for an EMU and compare the economic assumptions and results against a backdrop of economic theory. This will shed light on whether it is worth the extraordinary pain needed to preserve the current policies of the Eurozone. The
second section will outline the history of the crisis and explore the political dimensions of the economic causes and responses. I will then lead into the third section with a normatively-framed exposition of the main options for crisis recovery with a focus on managing bailouts and the role of Keynesian stimulus.

 

Kieran Sobels (University of New South Wales) Her Past: forgetting and remembering in post-Franco Spain (pg. 13)

The Spanish experience during the twentieth-century was decidedly unique due to Spain’s minimal involvement in the two World Wars and its own internal political
struggles. Thus, the political consensus that formed in post-Franco Spain, to forget its traumatic past and focus on the future, was facilitated by very particular
circumstances. The underlying decision to impose amnesty was arguably the only viable option during the transition, but naturally bore consequences. Commentators
have questioned the quality of Spanish democracy and, for many, justice was never done and thus memories never given closure. This is evident in the public demand
for the rediscovery of memory since the mid-nineties. The passing of time has rendered Spain increasingly amenable to embracing transitional justice measures.
While post-Franco Spain’s initial approach to its traumatic past abetted a smooth and successful transition, it also served to undermine the ‘democratic’ institutions
and political culture borne out of this period.

 

Lucinda Cadzow (Monash University) The European Union's decision to introduce a financial transactions tax (FTT) in 2011-2012 (pg. 20)

The Eurozone was left reeling after the sovereign debt crisis in 2009. Huge bailouts to governments and banks to stabilise the Euro ensued and policymakers within the
European Union (EU hereafter) sought to find a solution to the vulnerability of the Euro to volatility induced by currency speculation. In 2011, a Financial Transactions
Tax (FTT hereafter) was proposed by the European Commission as both a method of recovering some of the funds that were lost due to the remedial fiscal policies that
were implemented after the crisis, and also to be used as a corrective mechanism in order to reduce the volatility apparently caused by high frequency trades and
currency speculators. The tax was to apply to trades in stocks and bonds, as well as derivatives, at a harmonised minimum of 0.1 per cent and a 0.01 per cent tax rate
respectively.

However, the controversial tax garnered opposition from within the EU from the outset and currently only ten countries within the EU (the ECP-10) have agreed to
pursue the tax, albeit with waning interest and growing concern since the initial proposition. Critics of the tax argue that the scope of the tax has far reaching
consequences: the FTT applies to transactions concerning any party from that tax jurisdiction meaning that it will apply outside the countries that have pursued the
tax. This could have the effect of shifting transactions away from the EU and thus losing the revenue gaining potential of the tax. The tax has also been criticised on the
basis that the corrective potential of the tax is limited as the incidence of the tax islikely to fall on pension funds and governments as opposed to the financial sector
that it is targeted at. This paper will analyse the FTT as a policy instrument in the EU. It will do so in four parts: first, it will discuss the relevant background to the proposal in the IMF report
on FTTs and will then provide an overview of the 2011 EU FTT proposal; second, this paper will evaluate some of the contesting arguments for and against an FTT
amongst key member states of the EU, examining the main voices for the tax: France and Germany, and the most vocal opponent to the tax: the United Kingdom. Third,
this paper will compare the FTT with possible alternatives to the tax that may or may not have been considered by policymakers in the Commission, such as a tax on
financial assets (FAT); and last, this paper will conclude with a discussion on the effects and progress of the FTT, including the legal challenge from the UK in relation
to the Council’s pursuit of an FTT through enhanced cooperation. Ultimately this paper will find that the issues surrounding the proposal of an EU FTT have had far
reaching political and legal consequences, and, once the tax is implemented (scheduled for 1 January 2016), most likely economic consequences beyond the
participating member states.

 

Daniel Tan (University of Western Australia) The New Fin-de-Siecle: Journeys of Nationhood through Almodóvar’s and Kieślowski’s Cinema (pg. 31)Almodóvar’s and Kieślowski’s Cinema (pg. 31)

Literally, the French phrase fin de siècle translates as “end of the century”. The term gained prominence during the end of the 19th century, and originated from artists
whose works reflected the perceived decline of social orders towards a sense of renewal. Although fin de siècle is associated with this particular period in history,
the phrase can be transposed to the end of the 20th century, when social and political upheavals were also occurring across Europe. In addition, the use of cinema by
contemporary artists to reflect these developments draws artistic parallels to the original fin de siècle. This essay will explore how journeys of nationhood and social
renewal at the end of the 20th century were interpreted by filmmakers, using Krzysztof Kieśowski’s Three Colours: Blue and Pedro Almodóvar’s All About My Mother as representations of Europe’s transition from a continent characterised by division and isolation, towards a unified entity with shared values of collectivism and democracy.

 

Dr Carolyn Stott (University of Sydney) Migration, Public Policy and Gentrification in Belleville, Paris (pg. 36)

This article is a study of the physical and social transformation of the Parisian quartier of Belleville since the 19th century. Immigration history and urban renovation have interacted and contributed to
or limited the gentrification of the quartier. Certain features are known to affect the type and extent of gentrification: the nature of migrant communities; the legal status of migrants; ethnic relations
between migrant and host communities; poverty; crime rates; social diversity and insalubrious housing stock. These factors will be examined in relation to Belleville with a focus on the four
significant stages of urban renovation: the transformation of Paris under Haussmann and its flow-on effects; the post-WWII reconstruction period, marked principally by the Plan d’Aménagement et
d’Organisation Générale de Paris (PADOG); the makeover of north-eastern Paris towards the end of the 20th century in the form of the Plan programme de l’est de Paris; and the ongoing results and
repercussions of this makeover. The evidence points to the quartier being in a stage of partial gentrification. The potential for this process to extend to a state of mature gentrification will be
examined with reference to quartiers such as the Marais.

 

Rita Parker (University of New South Wales) A Transnational Challenge - Energy Security

Transnational challenges have added a level of complexity to international and national security as the geopolitical landscape adjusts and responds. Such challenges transcend individual borders to involve
other nation-states regardless of whether they are willing or unwilling actors. One such transnationalchallenge is energy security and the resilience of the energy supply system. While energy is generally
considered as a national issue associated with meeting the internal needs of a civil society, it is also part of a wider dynamic global system that is vulnerable to a number of factors and is a major
influence in framing foreign policy stances. This paper addresses the linkage between energy security and foreign policy at both the state and international levels. It does this by examining some of the
issues and challenges associated with energy as a transnational security issue and the ways it affects relations between nation-states. The focus of this paper is on petroleum-based fuel and gas, and on
the security and resilience of the energy supply system. Given the ongoing dependence on these traditional forms of energy, it is argued that these energy systems need to be resilient so that, in turn,
civil society is resilient and human security is enhanced. The paper explores some of the issues for the European Union (EU) including the resilience of its associated energy systems. The paper also
considers issues that enhance or inhibit the resilience of the energy system with particular reference to the EU.

 

Liudmila Kirpitchenko (European University Institute, Florence) Academic Mobility and Intercultural Pathways for Knowledge Transfer 

This article focuses on academic mobility with the view of examining intercultural relations and knowledge flows. Academic mobility refers to the global mobility and exchange of tertiary students
and university staff, which is a growing phenomenon worldwide. This article seeks to highlight additional possibilities for exploring effective intercultural pathways for knowledge mobility,
translation and transfer that are created through academic mobility. Academic migrants in particular have been acknowledged as important agents of intercultural knowledge transfer, interchange and
knowledge creation. This paper sets up the theoretical parameters for exploring intercultural knowledge flows within academic mobility. It explores diverse aspects of intercultural encounters to
reveal underlining conditions for effective knowledge transfer and knowledge creation between cultures. The theoretical notions and ideas discussed provide the foundations for subsequent
ethnographic research which form the basis of this paper: a pilot survey conducted among academic migrants at two international educational institutions in Italy. This survey sought to analyse empirical
manifestations of cosmopolitanism in everyday intercultural academic interactions, as preconditions for successful knowledge transfer, interchange and ultimately, knowledge creation. 

 

 

Notes on Contributors