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The WSI Summer School 2014, Berlin

Deadline:  18 April 2014 
Open to: students and doctoral students as well as young researchers from all social sciences
Venue: 22-26 September 2014, Hotel Müggelsee, Berlin


Problems and Perspectives of European Integration: Economics, Politics, and Solidarity in Hard Times

The Eurozone crisis has triggered a vivid debate about the future of the EU, the European Monetary Union and the European Social model both among policy makers and academics. While some commentators have highlighted the fact that market turbulences have come to a halt, others point to a number of remaining or newly created problems that continue to threaten the stability of the European Union and the well-being of households within Europe: The absence of a noticeable economic recovery, persisting mass unemployment, the continuation of the sovereign debt crisis in the majority of EU member states, and the danger of deflation are important arguments that the crisis has not been overcome. To some extent, these problems can be seen as a result of a failed crisis management consisting of a series of short sighted trial and error measures (fiscal union etc.) combined with an aggressive intervention of the Troika into national labor relations and welfare state regimes. Increasing inequality and poverty as well as a growing precarization of work are some of the results of this process.

While EU officials’ and national governments’ responses to the Eurozone crisis have certainly had their impact on social disruptions taking place in Europe today, it would be short-sighted to attribute the erosion of institutional safeguards to the Troika and the EU crisis policy alone. For this reason, a fundamental discussion is needed about the reasons of what we refer to as the disembedding of national market economies. We would like to invite you to a discussion about the reasons of the market-making dynamic taking place within the European Union today. In this context, we would like to ask in how far the disembedding of national economies has been generated or facilitated by the institutional architecture of the European Union and the direction the process of integration has been taking since the second wave of integration in the 1980s.

While a growing number of authors consider European integration a main source of many problems affecting the EU, we regard it as a double-edged sword that can both stimulate liberalization processes creating dis-embedded market societies with all its problematic side- effects for European employees, and, potentially, contribute to the re-embedding of market societies. Albeit the more recent turbulences seemed to have pushed it into the background, the idea of a Social Europe is still present. We would like to reconsider this concept and discuss how the notion of Social Europe can be reactivated and what is needed to realize it.

What are the aims of the WSI Summer School?
The role of EU integration for the disembedding and its potential to re-embed European societies will be at the center of the WSI Summer School. From a multi-disciplinary perspective, including economics, political science, and sociology, it will deal with current problems of European integration. Furthermore, the WSI Summer School seeks to find realistic perspectives for creating a more social and democratic Europe.

The WSI Summer School aims at giving participants an overview on core policy fields which are crucial for the understanding of the dynamics of European integration:

  •  Institutional and Political Economic Obstacles to Social Europe
  •  European Macroeconomic Policy: The Euro as Challenge to the European Social Model
  •  Labour Markets and Social Policy in the EU and in European Member States
  •  Trade Unions in the EU. National Retreat or Mobilising for Social Europe?
  •  Sociology of European Integration. The Europeanization of Cultures, Collective Identities, and Public Spheres

The WSI Summer School will not only analyze European policies but will also contribute to a critical assessment of its outcomes and discuss political alternatives. On the last day of the Summer School, prominent academics and activists will be invited to identify a way out of the current predicament.

Who is organising the WSI Summer School?
The WSI Summer School is organised by various researchers of the Institute of Economic and Social Research WSI (Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliches Institut) within the Hans Böckler Foundation, which is the foundation closely related to the German trade unions. There will be contributions from several WSI researchers such as Brigitte Unger, Daniel Seikel, Heiner Dribbusch, Philipp Klages, Karin Schulze-Buschoff, and Alfred Kleinknecht.


The WSI Summer School addresses students and doctoral students as well as young researchers from all social sciences (Economics, Law, Sociology, Political Science etc.). The WSI aims to have an international composition of participants. Therefore, the working language during the WSI Summer School will be English.


All participants have to pay a lump-sum of 50.00 Euro for accommodation and meals during the Summer School. Travel costs have to be taken by the participants. In individual cases the WSI can award a grant to the travel costs.


Applications for the participation at the WSI Summer School should be send at latest until 18 April 2014 to Please Download the application form here

If you have any questions, write  Dr. Daniel Seikel  or  to:

Call for Applications (pdf)