Purdue University North Central will present a Social Sciences Colloquium with Dr. Jonathan Swarts, associate professor of Political Science, speaking about “A Margaret Thatcher in Athens? Economic Crisis and Ideas in Greece” on March 19 from 10 to 11 a.m. in the Library-Student-Faculty Building Assembly Hall, Room 02. The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.
Swarts spent a year spent living in Greece and observing the reform process first-hand. He will discuss the perspective of the situation that he observed first-hand.
“The ongoing debt crisis in Greece ranks as perhaps the most significant economic crisis to hit the European Union since its inception,” said Swartz. “However, much of the attention of both policy-makers and economic pundits has focused on austerity measures that aim to manage and overcome the current crisis. Much less attention has been to paid to the underlying philosophical and ‘ideational’ factors at work in the Greek economy and society.
“Based on my own research on economic change in Anglo-American democracies, as well as a year in Greece observing the reform process, I argue that insufficient weight has been given to reforming the underlying ideas, cultural practices and social norms that underpin the Greek economy. Politicians–themselves products of those same cultural practices and norms–have largely focused on crisis management, rather than on the pressing need for fundamental political-cultural change.”