Dr. Jan Labitzke: Growth, prosperity, distribution and discontent

Born out of crisis: the new Italian government of MoVimento 5 Stelle and Lega and its impact on the European Union

Πέμπτη 8 Νοεμβρίου 2018, Ώρα 14.00-16.00, Αίθουσα ΚΕΝΙ (ΣΤ1


Lectures in English: Professor Dr. Jan Labitzke, Justus Liebig University of Giessen, Germany 

Wednesday 7 November 2018, 14.00-16.00 New Building 6th floor, KENI room 

Growth, prosperity, distribution and discontent 
The question of economic equality and social justice in Germany

For outside observers the economic situation in Germany seems to be splendid, especially in comparison to other European countries that have not yet overcome the financial crisis and its consequences as quick as Germany did: Germany is the strongest economy in the EU, the GDP grows constantly, the unemployment rate decreased from 11.7% in 2005 to 5.0 % in September 2018 (with even lower rates and de facto full employment in the Southern regions). The tax revenues of all state levels grow every year and the state reduces its debt without cutting expenditure. However, alongside of this growing prosperity surveys show a huge discontent within the German population. In a survey of the Hans-Böckler-Foundation only 23% of the interviewed agree that there is still social cohesion in the German society,  another 53% think that there is growing disparity (Hilmer et al. 2017). Even if survey results differ, they show that a high share sees problems in the distribution of wealth, income and in the question of social justice. In an inquiry of the pollster Infratest Dimap, published in September 2018, 46% consider the societal conditions in Germany “unjust”. Especially the electorate of the new far-right-wing party AfD dissatisfied with actualisation of social justice in Germany. The lecture will discuss these – at the first glance – contradictory and inconsistent observations and present approaches that can explain this huge discontent in a generally blooming economic situation. 


Thursday 8 November 2018, 14.00 New Building 6th floor, KENI room 

Born out of crisis: the new Italian government of MoVimento 5 Stelle and Lega and its impact on the European Union

The results of the Italian parliamentary elections of March 4th, 2018, triggered lasting uncertainty in the European Union: initially, because of unclear majorities that resulted in three months of a “hung parliament” until the formation of the new government, and subsequently because of the political course of the new coalition between Five Stars Movement and League. The lecture analyses the election results, their background, and the twisting path to a new government. It examines the government parties’ coalition agreement from a European perspective and the personnel composition of the new Italian government. On that basis, it will be discussed the challenges for the European Union in relation to the new Italian government.


Dr. Jan Labitzke: (Master of European Studies, University of Tübingen; PhD Social Sciences, University of Giessen) is Research associate and Lecturer at the Department of Political Science of the University of Gießen (Germany), where he teaches Economics, European Union Politics and Governance Studies. He has published mainly on participatory governance in the EU, political developments in Italy, multi-level governance and socioeconomic issues. 



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