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Altman Co-Presents: Europe, Neoliberalism and the Refugee Crisis: Notes from Germany

January 15, 2016 6:15 PM
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Kubsch Presentation

The Altman Program is happy to co-present a talk by German Councilman Florian Kubsch from the state of Augsburg on Monday, February 1 at 4 PM in the Qatar Ballroom. This talk, "Europe, Neoliberalism and the Refugee Crisis: Notes from Germany," co-presented by the Tulane Department of Political Science, will explore the causes and outcomes of the ongoing refugee crisis in Europe. A more detailed description follows:

The refugee crisis in Europe is leading to a Renaissance of both public spirit and racism across the continent. Pro- and anti-immigrant protestors are hitting the streets; and people are founding both integration and vigilance committees. Meanwhile, politicians vacillate between "welcoming refugees" and "closing the borders". This talk will center on why this divide has emerged and where it came from. The story starts in the 1980s, when Europe turned toward neoliberalism, causing widening inequality within its societies and among its states. Especially in Germany, Europe's biggest economy and the country with the most inhabitants, neoliberal politics changed the idea of a unified Europe in the post-war period. Decades in the making, cutbacks in social budgets left many Europeans disillusioned. In this setting, millions of refugees came and public institutions, weakened by neoliberal policies, were overstrained. The purpose of this talk is to explain that Europeans are indeed suffering, but not because of refugees. They are victims of neoliberalism. In our meeting we will talk about what information about the refugee crisis is real and what is made up. We will also discuss what is necessary to overcome neoliberal inequality, to strengthen European public spirit, and re-focus Europe on its project of post-war unity.

Date: Monday, February 1, 2016
Time: 4:00 PM
Building: Lavin-Bernick Center (LBC) in Room 212 (Qatar Ballroom)