Assistant Professor of International Political Economy Matthias Matthijs is the recipient of the 2018 “Best Paper Award” of the European Politics and Society (EPS) Section of the American Political Science Association (APSA).
His paper, “When Is It Rational to Learn the Wrong Lessons? Technocratic Authority, Social Learning, and Euro Fragility,” co-authored with Mark Blyth, Professor of Political Economy at Brown University, traces the development of the euro’s governing ideas over fiscal and monetary policy in the face of mounting evidence that continued adherence to those ideas was economically deleterious. The paper argues that a specific form of social learning, framed by a retrospective recoding in 2010–2012 of Europe’s experience with fiscal rules in 2003–2005, drove European elites to pursue policies that were economically irrational but politically rational.
Matthijs said that the paper is relevant for the ongoing elite-level discussions in Europe on how to reform the Eurozone so the continent’s single currency can be put on a more stable and sustainable footing when, inevitably, the next crisis comes along.
The paper was presented during the 2017 APSA meetings in San Francisco, California and has since been published as an article in Perspectives on Politics, one of APSA’s top two academic peer-reviewed journals.