Programming the Common Market: The Making and Failure of a ‘Dirigiste’ Europe with Hugo Canihac, University Saint-Louis, in Brussels

14 Mars, 2022 - 14:45 - 16:45

Seminar of the Key Theme: The transformations of capitalism

Sciences Po, Amphithéâtre Erignac, 13 rue de l'Université, 75007 Paris

carte vintage de l'union européenne

The idea of implementing a form of economic planning in the European union (EU) has recently gained much appeal in the context of the EU’s recovery plan, or of the climate crisis. While it is generally assumed that it would constitute a fundamental innovation, this presentation will show that this idea has a long and peculiar history in European integration. In particular, it will reconstruct the efforts during the 1960s to implement a form of ‘European economic programming’, that is, a more ‘dirigiste’ type of economic governance than is usually associated with European integration. Based on a variety of archives, it will offer a new account of the making and eventual failure of this project. It argues that, at the time, the idea of economic programming found many supporters, but its implementation largely failed for political, practical as well as scientific reasons. So doing, this presentation will not only contribute to the debate about the history of the political economy of European integration; it will also cast light on the conditions and challenges of a future European economic planning.


Hugo Canihac is a FRS-FNRS postdoctoral researcher at the University Saint-Louis, in Brussels. He works on the politics, history and theory of European economic and legal integration. His work has appeared in the Journal of Common Market Studies, Revue Française de Science Politique, German Law Journal, or Contemporary European History.

Collective discussion 

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