• Mark Blyth on Story in the Public Square

    Why American Debt is Good with Mark Blyth

    Air Dates: September 15-17, 2018

    One of the most persistent ideas in the politics of the West, whether we’re talking about Europe or the United States, is that government debt is best attacked through reducing government spending. Mark Blyth, warns though, that “austerity,” as such plans are known, is a historically dangerous idea.

    Blyth received his PhD in political science from Columbia University in 1999 and taught at the Johns Hopkins University from 1997 until 2009. Since then, he has been Professor of International Political Economy in the Department of Political Science at Brown University and a Faculty Fellow at Brown’s Watson Institute for International Studies.

    His research interests lie in the field of international political economy. More specifically, his research trespasses several fields and aims to be as interdisciplinary as possible, drawing from political science, economics, sociology, complexity theory, and evolutionary theory. Blyth’s work falls into several related areas: the politics of ideas, how institutions change, political parties, and the politics of finance.

    The politics of ideas focuses upon how agents deal with complexity and uncertainty in the design of institutions and the expression of their interests. Institutional change focuses upon evolutionary dynamics in complex systems, especially financial systems. He is interested in how, again, agents act within such systems given the non-linear dynamics that they generate. His work on political parties has focused upon how political parties self-insure against uncertainty via cartel structures. Finally, his work on finance focuses upon the politics of regulatory change, the role of macro-prudential regulation, the distributional costs of financial crises, and the power of financial ideas in politics.

    Story in the Public Square airs on Rhode Island PBS in Rhode Island and southern Massachusetts on Sundays at 11 a.m. and is rebroadcast Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. An audio version of the program airs Saturdays at 8:30 a.m. & 7:30 p.m. ET, Sundays at 5:30 a.m. ET, and Mondays at 12:30 a.m. ET on SiriusXM’s popular P.O.T.U.S. (Politics of the United States), channel 124. “Story in the Public Square” is a partnership between the Pell Center and The Providence Journal. The initiative aims to study, celebrate and tell stories that matter.

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