P. Vesan, F. Corti, in Journal of Common Market Studies, First published: 10 May 2019, ABSTRACT: In September 2015, the European Commission launched a new political initiative ‐‐ the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR) ‐‐ with the stated aim of strengthening the social acquis of the European Union and promoting upward social convergence across eurozone countries. In January 2017, the European Parliament voted in a resolution supporting the EPSR. This article examines the positioning of the parliamentary political groups to grasp the tensions that emerged during the debate. In so doing, it provides empirical evidence of the existence of a complex ‘clash syndrome’ in European social policies which results from the combination of vertical and horizontal forms of euroscepticism. The main argument is that the coexistence of multiple political tensions may hamper the development of a stronger Social Europe, but may also lead to the emergence of new political coalitions through the ‘criss‐crossing’ of different lines of conflict. available at  
M. Ferrera in Journal of European Social Policy, 1–10, 2018. ABSTRACT: In the mid-1970s, the great Norwegian scholar Stein Rokkan argued that the consolidation of the national welfare state was going to set definite limits to European integration. While the impetuous strengthening of the latter – from Maastricht to Lisbon – has largely disproved Rokkan’s factual expectations, developments during the last decade seem to have vindicated the theoretical insights which underpinned his original argument. If appropriately re-elaborated, such insights can help us to identify the conditions under which the economic and social dimension of the European Union might be reconciled in the future.  Available here
M. Ferrera, Il Mulino, 3 December 2018. ABSTRACT During the twentieth century, the Liberal nation-state turned into the mass democratic Welfare state, which then became a Member state of the emerging European Union. To what extent is Weber’s state theory – which has been so influential within political studies – still pertinent for analyzing these two momentous transformations? This article proposes a neo-Weberian reinterpretation of the democratic welfare state as a novel form of political domination, characterized by a distinctive political logic and legitimation dynamics. It then analyzes the impact of EU membership on such characteristics, highlighting the supremacy of of the market logic and discussing the obstacles for the emergence of a specifically political EU «reason».
M. Ferrera, in European Law Journal, published onlne on 25 may 2017 ABSTRACT Intra‐Eu mobility has become increasingly contested. Despite empirical evidence showing that migrants are not a burden for the receiving countries, a growing number of voters think that nationals should have priority in terms of jobs and welfare. In a realist perspective, this “nativist” turn cannot be ignored, as it might undermine the very idea of EU citizenship. While nondiscrimination, as enshrined in the Treaties, should certainly remain the first order principle to defend free movement from a legal and normative point of view, in the present predicament it might be reasonable to complement it with the less demanding principle of “hospitality”. Practically, this would mean to give back to Member States a modicum of autonomy in filtering the access to social benefits for inactive or non‐resident persons. available here
M. Ferrera, in European Journal of Political Research, published online on 17 January 2017 ABSTRACT. During the crisis, the European Union's ‘social deficit’ has triggered an increasing politicisation of redistributive issues within supranational, transnational and national arenas. Various lines of conflict have taken shape, revolving around who questions (who are ‘we’? – i.e., issues of identity and inclusion/exclusion); what questions (how much redistribution within and across the ‘we’ collectivities) and who decides questions (the locus of authority that can produce and guarantee organised solidarity). The key challenge facing today's political leaders is how to ‘glue’ the Union together as a recogniseable and functioning polity. This requires a double rebalancing: between the logic of ‘opening’ and the logic of ‘closure’, on the one hand, and between the logic of ‘economic stability’ and ‘social solidarity’, on the other. Building on the work of Stein Rokkan and Max Weber, this article argues that reconciliation is possible, but only if carefully crafted through an extraordinary mobilisation of political and intellectual resources. A key ingredient should be the establishment of a European Social Union, capable of combining domestic and pan‐European solidarities. In this way, the EU could visibly and tangibly extend its policy menu from regulation to (limited, but effective) distribution, reaping the latter's benefits in terms of legitimacy. The journey on this road is difficult but, pace Rokkan, not entirely impervious. available here
M. Matsaganis, S. Tsaroucha, in New Political Economy, Published online: 07 Sep 2017, pp. 192-207 ABSTRACT. Europe’s response to the sovereign debt crisis in Southern Europe has been premised on the idea that these states can return to growth through internal devaluation and fiscal consolidation. This article explores the distributive consequences of that strategy in Greece, Portugal, Italy, and Spain. We argue that standard measures of poverty do not capture the deterioration in living standards as fully as anchored poverty. Moreover, we show that inequality trends conceal considerable re-ranking within the income distribution: those who were rich in 2012 had got richer in 2009–12, but those who were rich in 2009 lost ground in 2009–12. We find that in all four countries the new poor include significantly fewer pensioners and more unemployed workers, and are considerably poorer than the old poor had been. We demonstrate that there was significant variation in the magnitude and design of austerity, with Italy imposing a far smaller adjustment than Spain, and Portugal achieving less inequality in spite of robust fiscal consolidation. Nevertheless, even when austerity measures were designed to reduce inequality by compressing incomes downward, their second-order macro-economic effects ultimately increased inequality (except in Portugal). In the last section, we explore the political reasons for this variation. available here
M. Matsaganis, in Il Mulino, 1/2018 available here
P. Pansardi, P.D. Tortola, in European Journal of Political Research, published online on 12 March 2018 ABSTRACT. There is little doubt that the European Central Bank (ECB), and in particular its presidency, has taken the lead in tackling the euro crisis. But can this leadership be also characterised as charismatic? This article answers the question by focusing on language – a key component as well as a reliable indicator of charisma. By means of a software‐assisted content analysis of the entire corpus of ECB presidential speeches, it is found that the crisis has indeed led to the emergence of the Bank's presidency as a charismatic euro leader. This in turn confirms the recent politicisation of the ECB, but at the same time might be seen as mitigating the problems related to the Bank's democratic deficit, to the extent that charisma can be seen, from a Weberian standpoint, as an alternative source of political legitimacy. available here
Josef Hien, Journal of Common Market Studies, published online on 10 September 2017 ABSTRACT. There has been much talk about ordoliberalism recently. Scholars and the press identify it as the dominant economic instruction sheet for Germany's European crisis politics. However, by analyzing ordoliberalism only as an economic theory, the debate downplays that ordoliberalism is also an ethical theory, with strong roots in Protestant social thought. It is this rooting in Protestant social thought that makes Ordoliberalism incompatible with the socioeconomic ethics of most of the European crisis countries, whose ethics originate in Catholic and Orthodox social thought. This divergence is the source of a crisis of understanding between European nations and hinders a collective response to the Euro crisis. available here
J. Hien, in New perspectives: interdisciplinary journal of Central & East European politics and international relations.- 25 (2017), H. 5  

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