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IES Affiliated Faculty Assess Brexit

IES affiliated faculty members are assessing the "Brexit" referendum in the Berkeley Blog. Economist Barry Eichengreen offers some insights into the Brexit vote and its links to globalization in his piece What explains Britain's Brexit shocker? Sociologist Irene Bloemraad disagrees with many pundits, saying in Immigrants, Brexit, Trump and inequality that she does not think the British vote was tied to voter attitudes about immigration. And Political scientist and director of the IES Center for British Studies Mark Bevir discusses the future of the UK after Brexit in Which road for Britain? and Where does the Brexit vote leave us? For more background information on Brexit, please consider this guide that UC Berkeley International Documents Librarian Jim Church compiled.


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June 18, 2015: Visit of French Secretary of State Matthias Fekl

Prof. Carla Hesse, Prof. Andrés Rodriguez-Clare, Secretary of State Matthias Fekl and IES Director Jeroen Dewulf.

On June 8th, Matthias Fekl, French Secretary of State in charge of Foreign Trade, Tourism and representing French Citizens Abroad honored the French Studies Program at the Institute of European Studies with a visit and took part in a panel discussion on the future of US-France/EU trade relations. He presented a brief overview of current trade initiatives, with a special focus on the TTIP negotiations. Matthias Fekl noted in his speech that the world has moved towards a modern age of trading between countries due to globalization. This internalization of value trade stated in the IMF's 2015 report is a reality which everyone in the world faces and that is why the secretary firmly believes that the voice of civil society must be heard during trade negotiations in order for democracy and free trade interests to be aligned. One of the respondents was Carla Hesse, Dean of the College of Letters and Science, who confirmed the secretary's opinion by providing a historical example to the talk; how the 18th century printing industry was deregulated in France and represented a said instance of democratic free trade. In light of this specific presentation of trade endeavors, there are many things which Matthias Fekl still wants to improve. He favors a more drastic opening of economies because he believes it will help develop the middle class and decrease poverty. However, he concedes that there can be redistributive inequalities which can be propagated within social classes. A second responder, Andrés Rodriguez-Clare, Professor in Economics, was of the opinion that free trade can be detrimental to lower social classes and regulations must be furthered to encompass a variety of societal domains. All three panelists underlined the importance of open data and transparency since it is crucial with trade negotiations and fosters the participation of trade unions, civil society and NGOs.

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