One of the greatest benefits of studying at LSE has been to attend public lectures by world leaders and academics. So far my highlight had been the 3-day “tour de growth” with Philippe Aghion. After last night I feel that the most (academically) stimulating experience has been Andrew Moravcsik’s lecture on the “European Constitutional Settlement”.
As a committed federalist I have often found it difficult to agree with Moravcsik’s analysis of the process of European integration. Since his landmark studies in the early 1990s he has long been the defender of the intergovernmental method – acknowledging continuing control in the hand of EU member states. My experience working in and around EU politics over the last 9 years has been different but I have always valued Moravcsik’s contribution as a valid intellectual and academic challenge to any federalist.
Yesterday’s speech of Andrew Moravcsik at the LSE was in many ways interesting and inspiring. I shall blog more about the substance in the forthcoming entry but thought I share his final remarks first.
When the chair Damien Chalmers intended to close the debate, Moravcsik asked to make a final statement. As a regular professor of politics and international relations at Stanford University he had spent his last year researching in China. As much as he loved the country and was inspired by its politics, he pointed to us, students of Europe, and made this really interesting statement:
After having talked to a Chinese leader for five minutes, he will acknowledge that China is still very far away from a global super power. At this moment, China is at most a middle power like Britain and will remain to be one at least for our generation. Therefore, studying the US and Europe, the two only global super-power, is as fascinating as it can be to study international relations these days.
Now this was warm words in everybody’s ears I guess. And it is so different from “Prof” Joschka Fischer who claims that the real balance of power is quickly shifting towards the US, India and China.
After more than two months without my blog, I could not wait to get started again. There are just too many things that should not go uncommented, so here we go again.
As much as I will try to improve my writing on this blog, I must admit that I have become a little unfaithful. I have started to blog about career perspectives for the LSE’s Finalists Blog and I will also try to share some thoughts about the EU budget on a new project called FollowTheMoney.eu. But whenever I feel that my comments on those blogs can also be interesting for my readers here, I shall notify you here.
But let’s call it a night – and a happy new year – with this great New Year’s card from our old family friend Ilja from Slovakia who reminds us of the great development of Slovakia joining the Euro by Januar 1st 2009.
After some very good time in Brussels it was time to move on. So, since Wednesday I am a Londonian now 🙂
But whether my time here is to be limited we have to see. I have inscribed for a Masters at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) at the heart of this great city. For the coming 12 months I should come out with some new perspectives. Not only for this blog but obviously mainly for my life, my learning and my future. New projects are naturally in preparation and until the end of the year I should know where I am heading. Until then I can only praise the LSE’s efforts for a smooth integration of its new students: useful information was sent to me way in advance. More current updates came in by email and the registration at the school was the smoothest thing I have ever seen at any university (and this is somehow my 5th!). Even though I had arrived a little earlier than foreseen by LSE, I could immidiately receive my student card and gain complete access to all services. Internet is running in my comfortable student residence (except for the SMTP). Only a fridge is waiting to be delivered tomorrow.
But more than that I have just spent a wonderful (last?) summer weekend in Dorset with great walks, good food and interesting discussions (i.a. about organic cidre farming) in between a wonderful countryside. May the year continue like this!