Progressive Industrial Policy for Europe: Challenges and prospects for the European Automotive Sector

Journée du Gerpisa n°: 
Wednesday 12 May 2021, 16:00 - 19:00 CEST

Online / En ligne

Julia Eder, Johannes Kepler University Linz
Julia Eder is a PhD Candidate in Sociology at the Johannes Kepler University Linz. She worked several years as a research associate and lecturer at the Johannes Kepler University Linz, before she became a lecturer at the University of Applied Sciences BFI Vienna in summer term 2021. Her research deals with the political economy of regional integration with a special focus on opportunities and limits of industrial development and the role of (joint) industrial policy.

Since the global economic and financial crisis, industrial policy has enjoyed a stunning revival. In the face of the structural imbalances in the European Union, different sides have proposed industrial policy as a way to overcome the crisis and to reduce unequal development. Left forces elaborated concepts of ‘progressive’ industrial policy, mainly with a post-Keynesian orientation. However, does this orientation make industrial policy genuinely progressive? After introducing the key rationales and proposals, this paper makes three specific contributions to the lively current debate on progressive industrial policy: (1) adding the dimension of politics, power relations and hegemony to the discussion of progressive industrial policy; (2) starting the process of substantiating buzzwords of the current debate, such as ecological sustainability, labour and democratic participation, and gender-sensitivity and (3) taking into account the question of core-periphery relations within the EU and what can be learned from debates on the Global South. We conclude that progressive industrial policy may constitute a remedy for Europe, but that the development of a genuinely progressive industrial policy on a regional scale faces multiple difficulties. In many respects, the national and subregional level still seems to leave more room for manoeuvre than on the EU level.

The presentation builds on the paper "Progressive Industrial Policy - A Remedy for Europe!?" by Julia Eder and Etienne Schneider but will establish a link to current challenges faced by the European automotive industry.

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