Adam Tooze - 2020: A Global Crisis Like No Other
October 26 | 18:00
Adam Tooze ( Director of the European Institute, Columbia University, NY )
Commentary : Mary O’Sullivan ( Département d’Histoire, Economie et Société de l'Université de Genève )
In April 2020, for the first time, the Bretton Woods Institutions - the IMF and World Bank - held their spring meetings virtually. They met under the slogan "A Global Crisis Like No Other". The slogan captured the drama of the moment. It also made a strong historical claim. What do the economic analysts of the IMF and the World Bank mean when they assert that 2020 is an unprecedented economic event? What historical frameworks might be useful in helping to locate the economic shock of 2020.
Professor Adam Tooze teaches and researches widely in the fields of twentieth-century and contemporary history. From a start in modern German history with a special focus on the history of economics and economic history his interests have widened to take in a range of themes in political, intellectual and military history, across a canvass stretching from Europe across the Atlantic. His most recent book was Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World (2018).
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This conference will be recorded.
Essential to Society? Franco-German and European Perspectives on the Social Repercussions of the Crisis
We are living through an unprecedented global health crisis. COVID-19 and the ensuing state of affairs have profoundly unsettled our social structures, affecting not only our mental and societal well-being, but also the state of our political and financial frameworks. It has retraced new boundaries between private and public life and intensified the presence of technology in our daily lives. It has compelled us to reconsider our relation to the sciences and the environment. In recent months politicians, researchers and the media offered attempts, ranging from apocalyptic prophecies to ecological utopias, to imagine what the world could look like once the crisis subsides. Yet not only the future, but also the current repercussions of the crisis on diverse facets of our society must urgently be reflected upon.
It is in this context that the Centre Marc Bloch, Berlin, a Franco-German centre for research in the social sciences and humanities with a special focus on Europe’s transformations and position in a global world, seeks to open the discussion to the wider public by launching an online seminar. This discussion series will bring together researchers from a wide range of fields, such as history, philosophy, sociology, political sciences, anthropology, cultural studies, public health and ecology, in order to consider the effects of the pandemic on our society in medias res. We believe the past can assist us in understanding whether the present crisis consists of an exceptional event or an extended transmutation, whether it may strengthen or disrupt our social structures and political organisations, and whether or not it will lead to a genuine revaluation of what is considered "relevant" or "essential" to society. The analysis of society by social sciences and the humanities in times of crisis may permit us, then, not only to take stock of that which transpires, but also to tackle imminent social transformations.