|Friday, April 12th|
3:15 PM - 3:30 PM
The issue of the gender pay gap in the Western Balkans is certainty not 'simple' socio-political issue. This is particularly true as we are dealing with post conflict states that still suffer the consequences from the previous regimes and the enormous harm experienced after the fall of the former Yugoslavia. By analysing the historical development of the female emancipation in the Western Balkans, we look at the key factors that have caused the imbalance of income and we explore the reasons this problem that the Western Balkans continue facing today. In order to do so, this paper sheds light on the current legislation in the Western Balkans regarding the status of women in the field of income and pay gap, what measures the states of the former Yugoslavia have taken towards decreasing the gap and finally, whether or not those efforts have been successful. The paper also provides recommendations on what could be done to reduce the discrimination in income that women face in all the fields of the job market across the Western Balkans.
3:30 PM - 3:45 PM
The European Union (EU) as a unique economic and political union was founded in the 1950s to cultivate European values, peace, and prosperity. Since then, it has grown from 6 countries to 28, becoming a home for more than 500 million people. The EU continues to be very attractive to the non-member countries across the Europe continent and it is open for all democratic European countries that want to join. Specifically, since the early 2000s, the EU has opened the doors of membership to the countries of the Western Balkans. Yet, a part of Balkan is also Kosovo. This paper analyses the case of Kosovo and its path towards the EU integration. Hence, the paper offers an overview of the Union and its relations with Balkans. Here, the paper shows that while joining EU is a choice and all of the countries have in theory the opportunity to move forward on their way to it, this means that they have to fulfil the criteria set by the Union. Hence, the paper specifically focuses on Kosovo’s process of the enlargement and the implementation of the political criteria, also known as one of the three “Copenhagen Criteria”. Ultimately, this paper provides a clear account of what has been achieved so far in terms of the stability of the institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect for and protection of minorities.
Investing In Our Future? What Comparing The Gap Between Total And Youth Unemployment In Italy And The United States Teaches Us About The Socioeconomic Consequences Of Raising A Generation Of Disadvantaged Youths?
3:45 PM - 4:00 PM
Recent literature on the rampancy of youth unemployment in Europe has consistently blamed the long-lasting impacts of the 2008 Financial Crisis for the high number of youths who are unable to find work. Nevertheless, in the United States, which was also impacted by the Financial Crisis, youth unemployment has largely returned to pre-crisis levels. This paper therefore seeks to identify alternative explanations for the high youth unemployment levels in Europe, which are consistently higher than total unemployment levels. This paper specifically compares Italy, the European country with the widest gap between youth and total unemployment, to the United States, which possesses a narrow gap between youth and total unemployment compared to Italy and Europe as a whole. In order to account for variations between total to youth unemployment gaps in Italy and the United States, this paper shows that governmental policies play a significant role in affecting how many youths are able to find employment. In particular, this paper addresses three areas of national economic policy that have major implications for youth unemployment rates: hiring and firing policies, startup policies, and gig economy policies. Overall, this paper demonstrates that the flexibility of a nation’s economy as determined by economic policies, particularly when it comes to technology and social media fields that youths are especially talented in, have a profound impact upon the gap between youth and total unemployment rates.
4:00 PM - 4:15 PM
Welfare chauvinism first appeared in academic literature when Norwegian and Danish political parties began framing immigration as a threat to the social democratic system’s survival; since then, it has become a cornerstone of populist ideology in Europe. A form of quasi-retrenchment, welfare chauvinism has been advanced in Denmark by the Danish People’s Party (DF), which sees immigration as a threat to the welfare state and presents chauvinism as the cure – pursuing one form of retrenchment to “prevent” another. DF’s electoral popularity puts the Social Democratic party (S) between a rock and a hard place, torn between the electoral necessities of accommodating chauvinism and maintaining support for the welfare state. In this paper, I argue that indirect retrenchment is too politically costly an option for S to pursue; instead, it will accommodate DF’s chauvinism by supporting direct retrenchment. I hypothesize that, via votes in the Danish parliament from 2004 to 2019, S has attempted to make it more difficult to obtain citizenship and residency rights (thus making it more difficult to obtain benefits) and make it easier for these rights, and thus the benefits, to be revoked. My findings broadly, but tentatively, support this claim. I also find that S has supported a third form of direct retrenchment: encouraging repatriation of foreigners to their home countries, which would entail a loss of benefits.
4:15 PM - 4:30 PM