Episode 17 - Björn Bremer. Austerity Politics

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In this episode, I talk to Björn Bremer who is Senior Researcher at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies (MPIfG) in Cologne. We talk about his article “The ideational foundations of social democratic austerity in the context of the great recession” which is co-authored with Sean McDaniel and was published in the Socio-Economic Review in 2019. The article investigates the economic ideas that build the bases for the decision of social democratic parties to embrace austerity policies following the economic and financial crisis in 2008. Based on over 60 semi-structured interviews with high-profile social democratic politicians in France, the UK and Germany, the authors argue that what they call supply-side Keynesianism builds the ideational foundation for these policies. Social democratic austerity policies are thus based on a unique ideational perspective that is neither fully congruent with neo-liberal or conservative perspectives, nor can it fully be explained by structural determinants. We also discuss the largely negative consequences that embracing austerity has had for social democratic parties and the question if the economic response to the current Covid pandemic is comparable or different. If you want to know more about Björn and his research you can follow him on Twitter under at bjoern_bremer or visit his website www.bjoern-bremer.com I hope you enjoy the conversation

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