Aidan Regan

Political Economist, Associate Professor at UCD’s School of Politics and International Relations, Director at UCD’s Dublin European Institute

A political economist that will make you think for yourself

Biography

Aidan has published ground-breaking international research on a variety of topics that include the impact of globalisation and foreign investment; the consequences of austerity; the clash of capitalisms’ in Europe; the rise of wealth and income inequalities; the effect of unequal access to housing; the determinants of voting behaviour; the transformation of work and social class; the politics of welfare reform; corporate tax avoidance; and the future of capitalist democracy.

Aidan is a strong believer that economics is first and foremost a social science. He identifies as a political economist, and specialises in studying the transformation of capitalist democracies from the post-war period to the present. He argues that many of the economic measurements and concepts that underpin Irish and European policymaking today are no longer fit for purpose, and need radical reform.

Aidan is not afraid to ask provocative questions, or provide original solutions. A core theme that runs through his recent work is whether liberal democracies can solve the problems of contemporary capitalism – climate emergency, wealth inequalities, digital transformations, and the need to reform taxation and the welfare state. He argues that if the EU is to generate the capacity to solve the complex problems of our age, we need to delegate more fiscal sovereignty to Brussels.

Aidan is an excellent communicator, and passionate about social science and political economy. He teaches a variety undergraduate, masters and PhD courses at UCD, and regular appears on Irish and international media. He strongly believes that academics should not just focus on publishing and speaking to their own scientific communities, but need to engage with the wider public sphere.

Aidan is an active member of the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics. He has a PhD in Public Policy, and was previously a postdoctoral research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Cologne, Germany, and a Max Weber Fellow at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. Prior to that he studied and worked at the University of Amsterdam.

Topics

You may want to go deeper into a topic for your audience. The keynote topics can be tailored and developed to suit your audience needs, be it a 90-minute Masterclass, a half-day or full-day workshop or a full online or face-to-face programme. Please contact one of our expert team to discuss.

The future of European integration. Drawing upon a variety of new research sources, Aidan will discuss the future trajectory of fiscal and monetary policy in Europe. He will ask whether it is possible for diverse ‘models of capitalism’ to co-exist within the eurozone, identify the key challenges facing Ireland, and discuss the brave new world (and consequences) of European Central Banking. Aidan will make the case for radically reforming the Eurozone’s fiscal rules.

The challenge of capitalist democracy: Drawing upon new sources of evidence from economic sociology, political economy, and economic geography, Aidan will discuss the core challenges facing ‘democratic capitalism’ – changing socio-class occupational structures, economic polarisation, unequal access to housing wealth, precarious work, mismeasurements of the cost of living, and the intra-regional inequalities associated with concentrated growth in metropolitan cities. Aidan will make the case for why we need to rethink our growth models for the future.

The determinants of voting behaviour: Drawing upon new data, Aidan will discuss the latest political science research on what shapes preference formation and voting behaviour, and how these are intimately connected to the ‘winner and loser’ dynamic of globalisation. We will look at the role of age, gender, education, income, employment and wealth, and how all these intersect in new and interesting ways in shaping what people want. Central to this is the role of education in shaping cultural preferences, and income and wealth in shaping economic preferences. Aidan will explain why these underpin the popular support for Sinn Fein.

The changing role of the state: Drawing upon a variety of studies in comparative public policy, social policy, and political economy, Aidan will discuss the variation in different European varieties of capitalism, and the changing role of the state in creating the conditions for economic and employment growth. We will discuss the comparative differences in what European governments spend money on; the differences how they tax and finance themselves; and why some countries spend much more on social investments such as childcare. Aidan will make the case for a new fiscal contract aimed at reforming the social state to support younger working families.

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