Robert and Edward Skidelsky’s book is out in paperback, published by Penguin.

Irish President’s Vision for European Union Draws on Work by Exeter Academic

Michael D. Higgins, President of the Irish Republic presented his vision for the future of the European Union at the Institute of International & European Affairs in Dublin on October the 15th. His address was in response to, and drew on, the work of Robert and Edward Skidelsky’s book, “How much is Enough? Money and the Good Life”.

President Higgins pointed to the Skidelkys’ “important claim” in relocating the issue of work within the wider frame of “the good life” as defined by the economist Keynes who in an essay in 1930 predicted that future generations would work only enough to live “wisely, agreeably, and well.” European integration was now on a fragile path, torn between the requirements of fiscal adjustment and increasing social discontent, with a widening gap between greater financial, regulatory and economic integration on the one hand, and the social solidarity required to give these policies popular legitimacy on the other.

“I personally believe that the current encroachment of expertise and technocracy over democratic debate is a perilous one for the future of European democracy. There is nothing wrong with technical efficiency, rather the contrary. The danger arises from a conception of economic policy and technocratic administration that are governed chiefly by the instrumental criteria of ‘efficiency’ and ‘success’ and are thus immune to moral-normative considerations.”

Robert and Edward Skidelsky’s book is out in paperback, published by Penguin.

A report on the speech can be found in the Irish Times.

Date: 22 October 2014

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