Debating Europe: Inequality and Solidarity

Debating Europe 632x355

The expansion phase of financial capitalism that ended in 2008 led to an above-average increase of the global economy. At the same time the level of inequality within societies and among states got bigger. Policies to fight back the crisis from 2008 onwards caused record-high public debts and intensified this trend. The middle-class, as an agent of social balance, comes under pressure. Budgetary room for social transfers is getting tighter. Is the break-up of social cohesion, thus the break-up of social market economy inevitable?

Where are approaches for a new definition of social solidarity beyond traditional models of redistribution? How much equality does a society need that is based on social solidarity, and how much inequality can it bear – or require? In which direction does this sociopolitical experiment move? Which new institutions of social solidarity are possible and how about their democratic legitimization?

These questions will be discussed by:

Elsa Fornero (Italian Minister for Labour, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities)
Ira Katznelson (Professor of Political Science and History, Columbia University; President, Social Science Research Council)
Michael Sandel (Professor of Government, Harvard University)
Andreas Treichl (CEO, Erste Group, Vienna)

Moderator: Alfred Gusenbauer (former Chancellor of Austria)

Date: Sunday, 7 April 2013, 11 a.m.
Venue: Burgtheater, Universitätsring 2, 1010 Vienna

The debate will be held in English.

The series is a cooperation of Burgtheater, ERSTE Foundation, Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen (IWM) and DER STANDARD.