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European Financial Crisis

CIS Seminar Series

CIS welcomes James Caporaso, Professor of Political Science at University of Washington, and editor of the journal Comparative Political Studies.

The discussant for this talk is Joshua Aizenman, Dockson Chair in Economics and International Relations, USC

ABSTRACT: Since 2010, the financial crisis has raged across Europe, taking down governments of several members of the euro-zone in the process. Despite strong pressure for reform, and many meetings of heads of state, the problems are far from over. The crisis has been widely represented as a sovereign debt fiasco and a failure of fiscal policy by five peripheral member states (Greece, Portugal, Spain, Italy, and Ireland). However, the real causes of the predicament of the euro-zone are more complex. A satisfactory understanding of the crisis is only possible if we distinguish among four phases: background factors, including structural flaws in the original design of the Maastricht Treaty; capital flows and fiscal deficits; dynamics of divergence, especially regarding competitiveness; and the crisis dynamics. Solutions to the crisis are also uncertain and the conflict between creditor and debtor countries is likely to continue for some time before Europe can resume a path of growth.


James Caporaso (Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, 1968) is a professor of the Department of Political Science at University of Washington. He is a specialist in international political economy and international relations theory. He has published articles in International Studies Quarterly, American Political Science Review, International Organization, Review of European Integration, as well as several other journals. He has written, co-authored, and edited numerous books, most recently European Union: Dilemmas of European Integration (2000). He is also editor of Comparative Political Studies. Caporaso’s teaching interests include international political economy, international relations theory, regional integration, and comparative politics.

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