Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Tough Choice Than Must Be Made In The Eurozone

Eurozone leaders approved a new fiscal treaty that places constraints on sovereign governments.  A leader from the newly elected government in France announced that the treaty would place no constraints on public spending in France.  This article by Dani Rodrik argues that eurozone leaders much make a tough choice between economic disintegration and more extensive political union.  The eurozone may not be able to resolve its economic problems without moving forward with greater political union.  He refers to the concept of the selective delegation of democratic authority to make his point.  Democracy can be enhanced by delegating technical and non-partisan decisions to central authorities that are insulated from local politics.  He offers the delegation of monetary authority to non-elected central bankers as an example. Even though their authority is often contested, like it is today in a more partisan America, it can be effective and it is needed in the eurozone. Democracy enhancing globalization in the eurozone will only work when it is consistent with selective democratic delegation.  He concludes by arguing that the survival of the eurozone hinges on restrictions to national sovereignty through the democratic delegation of selective authority to regional entities.

Rodrik offers the selective delegation of authority to the federal government in the US an example of how it can work.  This was not easy to accomplish, however, in the US. A civil war was fought over these issues in the US. Even today politicians in the US, especially from southern states, argue for more rights to given back to state governments.  Given the wider differences in culture, and national identities in Europe it is not surprising that difficulties arise in finding the right blend between political and economic integration.

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