Destabilization of Monetary Unions, Vienna Oct. 2017, Cfp

“VOICE OR EXIT? Causes and Consequences of the Destabilization of Monetary Unions”


Date: October 12 – 14, 2017

Venue: University of Vienna

Deadline for proposals: October 14, 2016

The European Monetary Union as well as the European Union as a whole is in a serious crisis for some time past. That the EMU is one of the trouble spots is hardly surprising. Already a cursory glance at history shows that monetary unions during the time where often problematic and could evolve splitting power. Likewise, monetary changes have always provoked reactions of acceptance or rejection, with which we can compare in European history.

Money is not a purely financial concept. It is, in fact, implicitly related to cultural heritage and societal relations. This has an impact on the success or failure of a monetary union. Understanding this point is central to solving the current EU identity crisis, and it demands a multidisciplinary approach that goes beyond economics (history, anthropology, economic anthropology, sociology, art history, economic history, linguistics, etc.). We will go beyond the purely economic and financial models of money, by employing social, anthropological, historical and cultural approaches. Consequently monetary integration and the governance of monetary unions cannot only be discussed under the aspect of optimal or non-optimal currency area.

Our workshop will address the subject from a cultural and historical approach, going beyond the purely economic or monetary aspects usually adopted in most of the research focused on this question. It will adopt an innovative transnational, multi-period approach, which will promote a comparative synthesis of existing knowledge and deliver new insights into different aspects of money and currencies.

The aim of the workshop is to build a bridge between history, cultural aspects, economics, society, and politics. By studying past and present examples it will reach a better understanding of the dynamics of monetary and currency unions and the practical implications for the development of a single and transnational currency (Peebles, 2010). This will allow us to re-think the future of the Euro, which is now faced with problems with which historians are all too familiar – inflation and crises of confidence, the collapse of central political authority, etc.

Furthermore – to take Hirschman’s concept – we will not only the voice option, but also the exit option. What are the causes for leaving a monetary union and what are the economic and political consequences of leaving a monetary integrated area?

And we have to face the question which role place loyalty reaching a decision whether to stay within the union and bargain for changes or to opt out. As we have in history a number of examples for monetary integration we to have not a few for the fall apart of monetary integrated areas.

On this workshop we want to intensify an interdisciplinary debate

  • on the interdependencies of the monetary regime and the economic, social, cultural and political framing of monetary policy
  • ideas and strategies of governing monetary unions especially under the aspect of sustainability and resilience to neo-nationalistic tendencies.
  • concepts and strategies of monetary disintegration.
  • The organizers try to get financial support for travelling expenses. But we hope you understand that at this stage we cannot make any commitments regarding financial support.

We invite paper proposals based on original research that offer new accounts on the research area  from all disciplines, preferably with interdisciplinary approach: We are especially looking for papers using history (modern and pre-modern, European and non-European historical cases) to analyze inter alia the driving forces behind monetary unification and disintegration; the alternative of voice and exit; the alternative of central steering institutions and decentralized financial competences, the role of culture, history, religion, ethnic and national antagonisms, the role of gaps in economic performance, trade, politics, economic ideas etc in these processes.

All proposals should include a paper title, author name(s) and affiliation(s), professional status, contact details, and if there is a need for financial support. Notification of paper acceptance will be given by end of October 2016.

For the submission of your proposal please use the submission Web page for


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