The event is free, but registration is required.
Sign up using the form below and you will receive a link the same day as the online meeting.
You will need the link to log in to the meeting from your computer.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the injustice intrinsic to privatized, outsourced and commodified public services, as well as inadequacy of our socio-economic system to deal with the mass job losses emerging from national lockdowns. Further magnifying the inequalities that have emerged over the several decades of austerity, the pandemics has enlarged awareness about the central role public services must play in the times of crisis: from saving lives and keeping the socio-economic fabric of humanity together to protecting the environment.
At the same time national responses to the COVID-crisis have advertised a departure from orthodox public finance we have been witnessing in the past 40 years, as governments have allowed large monetary stimuluses through different Central Bank interventions. Meanwhile, the often-overlooked local and regional governments have played an important role as the key institutional frontline emergency first-responders, serving people and communities. They offered expertise and professional help that have otherwise been rapidly downsizing in the age of austerity.
Will these developments mean that governments once again will start seeing public services as investments rather than liabilities? Will the hegemonic ideas of the neoliberal ideology lose currency and open up space for policy innovation, as we have seen historically in the responses to both the Great Depression of the 1930s and the Great Stagnation of the 1970s? And how does all this affect the re-municipalization movement from below that had already been on rise before the COVID-19 pandemics?
Raising these questions and following recent developments, we have invited Dieter Plehwe, Research Fellow at the WZB Berlin Social Science Center, and Mirjam Katzin, activist and Doctor of Law from Lund University in Sweden, to an online debate aiming to address challenges and possibilities in building a more equal economy and society in the wake of the global COVID-19 health and economic crisis.
This is the fifth in a series of six online debate meetings addressing the economic prospects relating to the still ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We seek to map strategies, opportunities, and dilemmas for the Left. Will we experience a departure from the orthodoxies of the age of austerity and towards re-municipalization and increased public investments in the service sector? Or will responses to the COVID-19 pandemic lead to a new wave of privatization in the service sector and in such case, how should that be countered?
Dr. Plehwe has written and edited numerous books and articles on the topic. Most recently he co-edited The Changing Politics and Policy of Austerity (2021) and before that Nine Lives of Neoliberalism (2020). He is currently Research Fellow in the President’s Research Group, WZB, and Private Lecturer in the Department of Political Science at the University of Kassel, Germany.
Dr. Katzin has written a thesis titled “Taking Care of Business: A Study of the Governing of Care Choice Systems in Swedish Home Care”. Providing an account of a care choice reform that challenges the organization of elder care in Swedish municipalities, the thesis offers several new insights into how parts of the Swedish welfare model have evolved during the last decade.
DEO’s chief analyst Rasmus Nørlem Sørensen will moderate the debate.
The project is sponsored by the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung (Brussels), a German political foundation closely linked to Die Linke, the German Left Party.