Considering the Eurozone Crisis
Author: Stuart Bruce
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?
Her Past: forgetting and remembering in post-Franco Spain
Author: Kieran Sobels
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.
The European Union’s decision to introduce a financial transactions tax (FTT) in 2011–2012
Author: Lucinda Cadzow
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.1 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.2 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.
The New Fin-de-Siècle: Journeys of Nationhood through Almodóvar’s and Kieślowski’s Cinema
Author: Daniel Tan
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.1 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: Blue2 and Pedro Almodóvar’s All About My Mother3 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.
Migration, Public Policy and Gentrification in Belleville, Paris
Author: Carolyn Stott
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.1
Keywords: Belleville, gentrification, migration, public policy, urban renovation
A Transnational Challenge – Energy Security
Author: Rita Parker
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 transnational challenge 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.
Keywords: Energy Security, European Union, Resilience, Transnational Issues, Vulnerabilities.
Academic Mobility and Intercultural Pathways for Knowledge Transfer
Author: Liudmila Kirpitchenko
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.
Keywords: Academic mobility, cosmopolitanism, cultural capital, habitus, intercultural dispositions, knowledge transfer.