Since 2008 Europe has grappled with an existential crisis – High debt and anemic growth has crippled the Union. Political consensus on policy solutions has remained elusive. Can intervention by the European Central Bank  salvage the the Euro-zone? Will EU members agree on debt mutualization? Will they provide continuous support to bankrupt Greece or will they let it fail? How can citizens be reassured out of their growing disaffection? Many questions, fewer answers.

Boston International and swissnexx Boston hosted Prof Vivien Schmidt, Professor of International Relations and Political Science at Boston University. She shared her perspective on the European crisis and addressed a few of the daunting questions facing European union

About our Speaker

Vivien A. Schmidt is Jean Monnet Chair of European Integration, Professor of International Relations and Political Science, and Founding Director of the Center for the Study of Europe at Boston University. Her areas of interest are European political economy, institutions and democracy, as well as political and institutional theory. Her current empirical work centers on the impact of the European Union on the quality of member-state democracy and the impact of the economic crisis on European capitalisms and welfare states while her current theoretical work explores explanations of institutional change, in particular with regard to the role of ideas and discursive interactions (discursive institutionalism).

Schmidt received an honorary doctorate from the Free University of Brussels (ULB) in 2008, was awarded the Franqui Interuniversity Chair, the most prestigious award in Belgium for foreign scholars, in 2008, and was named a Jean Monnet Chair by the European Union Commission in 2001.  She was also decorated by the French government as a Chevalier in the Order of the Palmes Académiques, honored by the University of Massachusetts Boston with the Distinguished Scholar Award, and given a special award for her book, Democratizing France, at the Gaston Defferre Prize Ceremony in Marseilles.  Her research awards and grants include Visiting Research Scholar at the Free University Berlin, the French National Research Council, and the Rockefeller Center at Bellagio as well as Fulbright Fellowships at Oxford University and the University of Paris, and a Volkswagen grant at the Max Planck Institute, Cologne.

Schmidt’s books include Debating Political Identity and Legitimacy in the European Union (co-ed. with S. Lucarelli and F. Cerutti—Routledge, 2010).  She is currently co-editing Resilient Liberalism:  European Political Economy through Boom and Bust, scheduled for publication in fall 2013 by Cambridge University Press.


7:00 PM, November 14, 2012

swissnex Boston

Consulate of Switzerland

420 Broadway

Cambridge, MA 02138

swissnex Boston is conveniently located near public transportation. The closest T stops are Central Square and Harvard Square on red line. For more information, go to

About our Host

swissnex Boston – Established in 2000 as the world’s first “science consulate,” swissnex Boston is the first of a global network of five knowledge outposts including San Francisco (2003), Singapore (2004), China (2007) and India (2009). swissnex Boston, along with the Office of Science and Technology of the Embassy of Switzerland in Washington D.C. and swissnex San Francisco, constitute the official Swiss science network in North America.


Please note that seating is limited. Tickets, which include light hors d’œuvre and drinks, are $5 and are available at:

Group discount is now available on tickets. You can buy two tickets for $8.

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