Economic governance by Wonka and Rittberger


Recently I found this article dealing with European Union governance and political attitudes. Although far away from European Parliament, A. Wonka and B. Rittberger review the perceptions by European Union agency staff in legitimacy and accountability, European centralization, and economic governance. Their proposal is that views of agency staff influence on how European Union agencies are ruled, on how they are accountable, and to whom they are accountable.

However, slipping from this,  what got my eye was the definition they give on economic governance:

“Economic governance can be broadly understood as the relationship between employers and employees, the redistribution of material benefits between different strata of society, as well as regulatory activities such as rule standard setting in matters relating to workers health and safety, consumer protection or environmental standards, etc. Two positions can be contrasted along this dimension: while economic liberals and conservatives emphasize minimal role of the state in economic governance which finds its expression in less regulation and an emphasis on market liberalization, proponents of welfare state interventionism conceive of the state an active player in economic governance, emphasizing the positive role of state interventionism and regulation to correct for market excesses and failures.” [1]

So far, it is the best definition of economic governance I have read for its wit and simplicity. This statement should be kept in mind every time we think, listen or speak about politics.

If everybody in Europe knew and understood this pithy definition populism and political stupidity would not be rising in the European Union as they are nowadays.


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