quinta-feira, 30 de maio de 2013

"Contra a austeridade": João Ferreira do Amaral e Paul Krugman

Entrevista com o polêmico economista João Ferreira do Amaral. Antigo combatente das medidas de austeridade na zona do euro, o economista publicou o livro-panfleto "Porque devemos sair do Euro" - o mais  novo best-seller português.

Enquanto isso, o não-tão-polêmico economista norte-americano Paul Krugman resenhou os livros de Mark Blyth ("Austerity: the history of a dangerous idea") e David Stockman ("The Great Deformation: The Corruption of Capitalism in America") para a NY Books.

In normal times, an arithmetic mistake in an economics paper would be a complete nonevent as far as the wider world was concerned. But in April 2013, the discovery of such a mistake—actually, a coding error in a spreadsheet, coupled with several other flaws in the analysis—not only became the talk of the economics profession, but made headlines. Looking back, we might even conclude that it changed the course of policy.
Why? Because the paper in question, “Growth in a Time of Debt,” by the Harvard economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, had acquired touchstone status in the debate over economic policy. Ever since the paper was first circulated, austerians—advocates of fiscal austerity, of immediate sharp cuts in government spending—had cited its alleged findings to defend their position and attack their critics. Again and again, suggestions that, as John Maynard Keynes once argued, “the boom, not the slump, is the right time for austerity”—that cuts should wait until economies were stronger—were met with declarations that Reinhart and Rogoff had shown that waiting would be disastrous, that economies fall off a cliff once government debt exceeds 90 percent of GDP.
Indeed, Reinhart-Rogoff may have had more immediate influence on public debate than any previous paper in the history of economics. The 90 percent claim was cited as the decisive argument for austerity by figures ranging from Paul Ryan, the former vice-presidential candidate who chairs the House budget committee, to Olli Rehn, the top economic official at the European Commission, to the editorial board of The Washington Post. So the revelation that the supposed 90 percent threshold was an artifact of programming mistakes, data omissions, and peculiar statistical techniques suddenly made a remarkable number of prominent people look foolish.

sexta-feira, 17 de maio de 2013

Mark Lilla: "Isaiah Berlin Against the Current"

O historiador Mark Lilla (NYU) escreveu uma nova introdução à famosa coleção de ensaios de Isaiah Berlin "Against the Current: Essays in the History of Ideas". Lilla procura entender, por meio da obra de Berlin, qual o papel da história para a teoria política.

Isiah Berlin: Against the Current

by Mark Lilla

To one who thinks philosophically, no story is a matter of indifference, even if it were the natural history of the apes.
 —H. M. G. Koster

It was an anecdote he liked to tell. In 1944, while working at the British Embassy in Washington, D.C., Isaiah Berlin was called back to London on short notice, and it happened that the only plane available to take him was a loud, uncomfortable military bomber. Because the cabin wasn’t pressurized he had to wear an oxygen mask that kept him from speaking. And there were no lights, either, so he couldn’t read. It was a long flight. He joked afterward, “one was therefore reduced to a most terrible thing—to having to think.”

While airborne, the story went, he had a small epiphany. In the 1930s he had taught philosophy at Oxford, happily, with his likeminded friends Stuart Hampshire, J.L. Austin, and A.J. Ayer. Logical positivism had just come into its own in Britain and Wittgenstein was already developing ideas about language that would challenge it. Something seemed to be happening. But as the war dragged on Berlin wondered whether this style of philosophy was really for him. History had intruded into his life a second time (the first was when he witnessed the Russian Revolution as a young boy in Petrogad) and he had just spent several years in the United States writing influential reports to the British government about the American war effort.

What did his early writings on verification and logical translation have to do with any of this? How did they address the pressing issues of the day? He found himself more and more drawn to engaged nineteenth-century Russian writers like Ivan Turgenev and Alexander Herzen, whose questions, he was discovering, were closer to his own. Thinking all this through in the darkness of the bomber he reached the conclusion, as he later put it, “that what I really wanted was to know more at the end of my life than I knew at the beginning.” When the war was over he gave up his philosophy fellowship and started calling himself a historian of ideas.

terça-feira, 14 de maio de 2013

IV Meetings on Ethics and Political Philosophy

Na próxima semana, entre os dias 20 e 21 de maio, ocorrerá o quarto encontro sobre Ética e Filosofia Política da Faculdade do Minho (Portugal). O conferencista convidado desta edição é o filósofo Peter Vallentyne que ministrará uma conferência sobre "libertarianismo de esquerda" e outra sobre "ética animal" (os textos estão disponíveis nos links abaixo).

- Cronograma final

- Vallentyne: "Left-libertarianism"

- Vallentyne: "Mice and Men"

IV Meetings on Ethics and Political Philosophy


sábado, 11 de maio de 2013

Manchester Conference in Political Theory (MANCEPT)

Lembrando a todos que nas próximas semanas se encerram os prazos para a Manchester Conference in Political Theory. O evento é composto por centenas de pesquisadores divididos em mais de vinte mesas diferentes. É talvez o evento de teoria política mais importante da Europa. A conferência ocorre em Manchester entre os dias 4 e 6 de setembro e é organizada por estudantes de pós-graduação das universidades inglesas. 

Veja aqui a lista de workshops (de A a Z!)

MANCEPT Workshops in Political Theory
Tenth Annual Conference: 4th – 6th September 2013
The Call for Convenors is now Closed.
Please find the description of this year’s panels and the contact details of the convenors above.
Once again, the Manchester Centre for Political Theory (MANCEPT) in Politics at the University of Manchester will be organizing the annual Political Theory Workshops. Over the last nine years, participants from over twenty five countries have come together in a series of workshops concerned with issues in political theory/philosophy widely construed. Last year’s workshops were a great success with 220 attendees and 24 workshops.
If you have any enquiries regarding the workshops, please contact the administrator at:

quarta-feira, 8 de maio de 2013

Chamada: "The politics of Agonism" (MANCEPT)

Pesquisadores de Oxford e Manchester estão a procura de trabalhos sobre conflito e agonismo social. O grupo de trabalho será dividido entre os aspectos teóricos e práticos do conflito de valores.

Os trabalhos devem ser enviados até 15/06.

MANCEPT Workshop: ‘The Politics of Agonism’, 4th-6th September 2013

The agonist tradition has introduced to political thought an account of politics that focuses on the integral role of power and conflict in the relations between participants in society. But the tradition seems to be insufficiently aware of its conceptual and normative underpinnings. This is especially true for the concepts of power and conflict which lie at the heart of agonist accounts of politics. Despite stressing the importance of context to determining the norms which govern societies, agonists maintain a commitment to certain strong normative assumptions, such as the idea of mutually respectful behaviour of political agents and the desirability of perpetual contestation. Agonists also have very particular expectations for the goals which political engagement ought to achieve: They tread an unclear line between modifying existing liberal institutions and replacing them wholesale with socialist alternatives, which has led to an impasse in agonist thinking about concrete solutions to current political problems.
The workshop convenors invite contributions from multiple perspectives and approaches that critically engage with agonistic political theory, and specifically encourage submissions which address the following topics:
(1) The historical origins of agonism and antagonism;
(2) Conceptual critique and contemporary developments of agonism;
and applications to
(3) democratic institutions; and
(4) political economy.

segunda-feira, 6 de maio de 2013

Entrevista: Philip Pettit "On the Peoples Term"

O filósofo Philip Pettit concedeu uma entrevista ao blog New Books in Philosophy sobre seu livro mais recente "On the Peoples Term". Nessa obra, Pettit procura conciliar sua concepção de liberdade republicana - como "não-dominação" - com os princípios políticos das democracias contemporâneas. 

sexta-feira, 3 de maio de 2013

Nova edição: Philosophy & Public Affairs

Na edição de abril da  Philosophy and Public Affairs,  Ronald Dworkin escreve sobre direito internacional, Joseph Heath discute cooperação intergeneracional e, em artigo conjunto, Avihay Dorfman e Alon Harel  argumentam contra a privatização de serviços púbicos essenciais. 

quinta-feira, 2 de maio de 2013

Limongi: "Em defesa do Congresso"

O cientista político da Universidade de São Paulo (DCP/USP) Fernando Limongi publicou artigo no Valor Econômico sobre os recentes conflitos de prerrogativas ente o poder legislativo e judiciário no Brasil. Segundo Limongi, as últimas decisões do STF a respeito do sistema eleitoral-partidário seriam carentes de coerência e, paradoxalmente, fontes de instabilidade institucional. 

por Fernando Limongi

A confusão está armada. Supremo e Congresso entraram em rota de colisão. Gilmar Mendes, em curta declaração, apontou o culpado: o Poder Executivo. O Supremo se exime de culpa e responsabiliza os demais Poderes. Suas repetidas intervenções teriam um único motivo: pôr ordem no coreto. A omissão do Congresso, sua incapacidade de promover reformas institucionais teria forçado as repetidas investidas do Judiciário na seara alheia. 

Rápida revisão das decisões recentes permite concluir o contrário. Da imposição da verticalização das coligações à intervenção do ministro Gilmar Mendes na semana passada, o Supremo tem contribuído mais para confundir do que para esclarecer, para lembrar o refrão do saudoso Chacrinha. As decisões emanadas do Poder Judiciário têm sido tão ou mais "casuísticas" do que as do Congresso Nacional; todas, sem exceção, prenhes de efeitos imediatos para a disputa político- partidária. Não há isenção possível neste tipo de questão. Tampouco é possível argumentar em nome do fortalecimento da democracia ou coisa do gênero. Qualquer decisão tomada favorecerá alguns partidos e prejudicará outros. 

Segundo o noticiário da imprensa, o ministro Gilmar Mendes teria identificado vícios formais na tramitação da proposta apresentada pelo deputado Edinho Araújo (PMDB-SP). O Congresso teria agido de forma rápida demais. Não deixa de ser irônico. O Congresso é sempre atacado por sua omissão ou morosidade. Quando é ágil, levanta suspeição. Tamanha celeridade só se justificaria por razões escusas. 

quarta-feira, 1 de maio de 2013

Habermas: "Democracy, Solidarity and the European Crisis"

Habermas ministrou uma conferência na Universidade de Louvin (Bélgica) sobre a crise crise política e os rumos da União Européia. Como sabemos, em seus últimos escritos sobre o projeto supranacional dos europeus, Habermas chegou a reformular partes importantes de sua teoria moral e social. A seguir, os textos de Habermas e o discurso introdutório de Herman van Rompuy (Louvin).