Ideas Count: Economy, Crisis and Democracy

Ana Cordeiro Santos

Cristina Andrade

Manuel Rodrigues

Nuno Serra

Pedro Lains

Sandra Monteiro

March 3, 2011, 14h30

Seminar Room (2nd Floor), CES-Coimbra


There is no other science, social or natural, occupying, within the public debate, the privileged space which is given to Economy. Economic subjects are, in fact, given, a major attention from the media, where economists are listened to with special reverence, Economic science acquires an even greater visibility in periods of deep crisis, like the one we are presently in. Everyone wants to understand what could have caused it and, most of all, how to get out of it. Often, non-economists, when approaching these subjects, see themselves forced to quote the authority of the undifferentiated class which is "the economists", inadvertently suggesting that Economy is a monolithic science, where the opinions are consensual. Or else, they excuse themselves, making clear that their position should be adequately considered, given their stated lack of credentials.

The privileged position of Economy has, naturally, ain impact on the public opinion formation. The economists who access the public space are able to transmit their perspectives, framing the economic situation according to the most favourable conceptual schemes to hegemonic political-economic options.

However, the absence of divergent voices, belonging to those economists who do not access the public debate, as well as to other economy scholars and actors, significantly prevent the presentation of different perspectives and the elaboration of alternative solutions. The inexistence of a true dialogue about the crisis is, therefore, impending the formation of an informed and better prepared public opinion in order to explore the presented solutions, and this weakens citizen participation in the decision-making process in matters concerning our collective life. However, economy concerns us all. Everyone is part of it, depending on it, both individual and collectively. As such, there is the matter of knowing who should and should not participate in the economic debate. Can we all participate in that debate? Or should the economy be left to the economists?



Guest speakers:

Ana Cordeiro Santos – Economist, CES Researcher
Manuel Rodrigues – Laywer and entrepreneur
Sandra Monteiro – Le Monde Diplomatique - Portuguese edition
Nuno Serra - Petition for Pluralism of Opinion in the Political-Economic Debate
Cristina Andrade  – blog FERVE: Fart@s d’estes recibos verdes
Pedro Lains – Economist, ICS Researcher


Guest panel and audience

Organization: Research Group on Science, Economy and Society (NECES) and Research Group on Social Policies, Labor and Inequalities (POSTRADE).