Network Analysis of European Wealth, Elites, and Integration, Pre- and Post-Eurozone Crisis
AbstractThis paper evaluates the presence and evolution of economic elites in European countries before the implementation of the Eurozone, and in the decades following the creation of the Eurozone. It explores, in particular, how networks of economic elites in interlocking directorates and with toe-holds in government have stood to benefit or be hurt by integration of the EMU, by the Eurozone Crisis, and by national decisions to leave the Eurozone given the current wave of anti-European feeling in the region. It uses network analysis to link interlocking directorate research with analyses of revolving door between business interests and government to present a more developed portrait of the involvement of European economic elites in the design and implementation of policy, and how those networks stood to benefit from a strong financial and trade union of the EMU, as well as the policy recommendations of the European Comission and European Central Bank. Given perennial concerns about the economic stability of the Eurozone, in finance and other fields, this research also helps to understand how elites’ interests may have implicitly or explicitly helped generate the current waves of anti-European sentiment and success of right-wing populist parties.
This paper analyzes firms and their boards as social entities that work together to promote their interests and introduces network analysis to the social economist’s toolkit, thereby broadening the scope of economic analysis we may perform on economic policy, its creation and its consequences.