European Intellectuals and the Economic Crisis

Wednesday, October 9, 2013  7:15pm The Heyman Center, Second Floor Common Room


Heyman Center for the Humanities

We might have expected the severity of the crisis in Europe that opened in 2008 and intensified following fears of a Greek default in 2010 to have elicited a vibrant pan-European debate, with intellectuals playing an active role. In fact the circulation of ideas has been limited and intellectuals have not had much impact or succeeded in opening up new perspectives for the continent. In this discussion Balibar and Tooze will explore why this was so and whether it reflects a transformation in the role of the intellectuals themselves. Has a gap opened up between the technical experts and those speculating on the idea of Europe more broadly? What in particular does economic and legal expertise now contribute and what are its limitations? Has the crisis revealed the durability of national barriers and cultural divides? The participants will address these questions in order to prompt a broader and more wide-ranging debate about the power and character of intellectuals today in the face of the most serious crisis to confront the continent since the Second World War.

Mark Mazower, Director of the Heyman Center for the Humanities, will chair.


  • Etienne Balibar

    Visiting Professor of French and Romance Philology

    Columbia University

  • Adam Tooze

    Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Professor of History

    Columbia University

  • Mark Mazower

    Ira D. Wallach Professor of World Order Studies

    Department of History
    Columbia University


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