Friday, November 22, 2013

"Queries": think European, read European

I participated today in an event organized by the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS) in Barcelona. I chaired an interesting debate on industrial policy, where some interesting ideas were exchanged on the relative importance of vertical versus horizontal policies, or the need to pay attention to the ideas of Dani Rodrik on the institutional design of industrial policies. The organizers took advantage of the event to present the magazine Queries, which is the first progressive European wide magazine. The event was attended by an interesting mixture of practitioners and academics, among them the economist from Columbia University Stephany Griffith-Jones. I believe that FEPS are doing interesting work in trying to get the practice of European progressive parties closer to the ideas of top left-wing academics. This kind of work is specially needed in times of great political uncertainty and volatility, when the dangers of populism and technocracy must be fought with solid arguments and well-thought strategies. The difficulties of progressive strategies at the national level must be overcome not with desperate attempts to copy the recipes of the populist, but with the update at the UE level of the principles that have worked well in the countries that have been under social-democratic governments for more years.

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