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 Research Projects at the MPIfG

Politics of Adjustment: Patterns of Crisis Resolution in European Economic Integration

Alexander Spielau

The need to find new methods of macroeconomic crisis management has been prevalent in Europe especially since the construction of the European Monetary System in 1979. When adjustment crises arose, governments usually experienced a time frame in which they engaged in creative policy-making and the discovery of "new paths" to solutions. Institutions such as the IMF used to play an important role in the provision of balance of payments assistance to European countries. This project seeks to understand the politics of macroeconomic management in times of perceived crisis. Based in a Comparative Political Economy framework, it uses mixed-method studies to analyze large-N datasets as well as case studies. The project has three research goals. First, it aims to understand the development of political practice in pivotal policy fields of macroeconomic adjustment. It focuses on the three policy fields that are most able to influence domestic price developments in the absence of exchange rate policy: first and foremost monetary policy and, to a lesser extent, fiscal and wage and labor market policies. Second, it is also concerned with the study of the use of non-standard and fringe policy fields in the process of macroeconomic management. The third focal point is the role of external actors in the process of macroeconomic management in Europe. Project duration: October 2016 to September 2018.
Höpner, Martin, and Alexander Spielau. 2016. "Besser als der Euro? Das Europäische Währungssystem, 1979-1998." Berliner Journal für Soziologie, published online October 18, 2016, doi:10.1007/s11609-016-0314-2.
Höpner, Martin, and Alexander Spielau. 2015. "Diskretionäre Wechselkursregime: Erfahrungen aus dem Europäischen Währungssystem, 1979-1998." MPIfG Discussion Paper 15/11. Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, Cologne.
Spielau, Alexander. 2015. "Wechselkurspolitik." In: Kleines Lexikon der Politik, edited by Dieter Nohlen and Florian Grotz, 6th ed., 727-28. Munich: Beck.
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