07 April 2021

Comparing public health policies and performances among BRICS countries - and beyond

BRICs Seminar 2020-2021 | Wednesday, 7 of April

Next Session of the BRICs Seminar (February 17th, 3PM, online)

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Eric Magnin LADYSS, University of Paris, France  

Nikolay Nenovsky CRIISEA, University of Picardie Jules Verne, France / Bulgarian National Bank, Bulgaria / SU Higher School of Economics, Russia

Summary: From the fourth quarter of 2007 to the second quarter of 2020, the monetary base in the euro area grew by 330%, the money supply by 61% and inflation measured by the consumer price index - only 17%. Interest rates are around zero and negative, inflation is low, and we often register deflation (A similar trend is observed in the United States). This discrepancy between the growth of money and prices has not only practical dimensions for the ECB and FED monetary policy, but also a theoretical significance. At the same time, in most of the developing and BRICS countries, the trend is exactly the opposite, despite moderate debt levels - depreciation of national currencies, inflation, and therefore rising interest rates. This is observed in Brazil, Russia, Turkey, Nigeria, Argentina, and others. These dynamics have led to extreme reforms, such as the one in Venezuela, where the country is fully dollarized.

In this contribution, we propose an interpretation of these trends on the basis of concepts developed by J. Kornai in his economics of shortage analysis, which we apply to the sovereign debt market of both groups of countries. Specifically, we introduce the concepts of “soft monetary constraint”, “safety assets shortage”, etc., in a context of financial repression. The studied processes in the monetary policy of the two groups of countries are closely related, and they are part of a growing economic and monetary nationalism, as well as an increasing role of government and fiscal policy.


Mutations of capital? Nature and Value in the ecological crisis

What role does nature play and how to consider the effects of the socio-ecological crisis to understanding capitalist expansion today?

Eco-Marxist approaches point to a structural contradiction in capitalism’s relationship to nature, which may lead to a non-return crisis of reproduction, due to the ever-increasing costs capital has to bear to regenerate a non-fully renewable environment. This analysis seems all the more appropriate when considering the importance that the issue of ecological limits to growth has gained within social struggles, political demands, and capitalist recomposition strategies. Yet, such dynamics also reveal the attempt to take over environmental criticalities by transforming them into new market opportunities. Under this framework, capitalism seems to be moving toward the complete integration of nature by means of the primary valorization of reproductive capacities of inorganic and organic matter, including human and animal bodies.

Exploring the nature-value nexus allows us to address the mechanisms, implications and impacts of such a move. It also leads us to ask how rethinking the role of reproduction and of non-human and biologic productivity can provide a way not simply to update Marxist or anthropocentric thinking, but also to challenge the logics that sustains capitalist accumulation, opening to a posthuman understanding of production and to the appreciation of multi-species forms of co-dependence. Do we need a more than a human understanding of value?


Programme 2019-2020


Seminar organised by Maura Benegiamo, postdoctoral fellow under the Chair Ecology, Labor, Employment and Social Policy
Sessions in French


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Seminar of the Ecology, Work, Employment chair

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Ecology, Work, Employment
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Dominique Méda
Florence Jany-Catrice
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