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See detailEconomic and Monetary Union at Twenty: A Stocktaking of a Tumultuous Second Decade
Howarth, David UL; Verdun, Amy

Book published by Routledge (2021)

The contributions to this book examine the two main asymmetries of the Euro Area as they have intensified during the second decade of Economic and Monetary Union (EMU): the first between monetary union ... [more ▼]

The contributions to this book examine the two main asymmetries of the Euro Area as they have intensified during the second decade of Economic and Monetary Union (EMU): the first between monetary union (more supranational governance) versus ‘economic’ union (less centralised governance); the second between those Euro Area member states of the so-called ‘core’ and those of the ‘periphery’. EMU stands as one of the European Union’s (EU) flagship integration achievements. Set up in 1999, with the large majority of EU member states at the time, EMU was described as ‘asymmetrical’ even prior to its start. From the outset, it involved asymmetrical integration in monetary and ‘economic’ union. Although a major element of the blueprint that paved the way for the final stage of EMU, the concept of ‘economic’ union was insufficiently developed. The second decade of the single currency gave rise to a second asymmetry, namely one between those Euro Area member states of the ‘core’ and those of the ‘periphery’. The ten contributions to this volume speak to one or both of these asymmetries, covering the major political, political economy and policy dimensions of EMU and the ongoing debates about necessary policy and institutional reforms to overcome these asymmetries and bolster Euro Area stability. The outbreak of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) Crisis in 2020 created unprecedented socio-economic challenges for Euro Area member states, heightening the perceived urgency of reform. [less ▲]

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See detailIntroduction to ‘Economic and Monetary Union at Twenty: A Stocktaking of a Tumultuous Second decade’
Howarth, David UL; Verdun, Amy

in Journal of European Integration (2020), 42(3), 287-293

This contribution discusses the two main asymmetries of European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) as they developed over the past two decades since the launch of the Single Currency. From the outset, EMU ... [more ▼]

This contribution discusses the two main asymmetries of European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) as they developed over the past two decades since the launch of the Single Currency. From the outset, EMU involved asymmetric degrees of integration in the area of ‘economic’ union (less centralised governance) versus ‘monetary’ union (more supranational governance). With the outbreak of the Sovereign Debt Crisis in 2010, the regime-shaping relevance of a second asymmetry emerged: one roughly between the member states of the Euro Area ‘core’ and those in the ‘periphery’. Each of the two asymmetries have created a range of challenges—institutional, policy and political — that undermine the stability and sustainability of the EMU project. [less ▲]

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See detailBanks and the False Dichotomy in the Comparative Political Economy of Finance
Howarth, David UL; Hardie, Iain; Maxfield, Sylvia et al

in World Politics : A Quarterly Journal of International Relations (2013), 65(4),

The wide-ranging Varieties of Capitalism literature rests on a particular conception of banks and banking, which, we argue, no longer reflects the reality of modern financial systems. We take advantage of ... [more ▼]

The wide-ranging Varieties of Capitalism literature rests on a particular conception of banks and banking, which, we argue, no longer reflects the reality of modern financial systems. We take advantage of the greater information regarding bank activities revealed by the financial crisis to consider the reality, across eight of the world’s largest developed economies, of the ‘financial power’ of banks to act as bulwarks against market forces. This article offers a ‘market-based banking’ framework that transcends the bank-based/capital market-based dichotomy that dominates Comparative Political Economy’s (CPE’s) consideration of financial systems, and argues for a future CPE research focus on the activities of banks. By demonstrating how market-based banking increases market influences on the supply of credit, we highlight an under-appreciated source of financial market pressure on non-financial companies (NFCs) that has potential impact across the range of issues that the Varieties of Capitalism (VoC) literature has seen as differentiating national systems, with implications in areas such as labor, welfare, innovation and flexibility. [less ▲]

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