12 November, 2023

'This country is punching far beyond its weight'-- Lecture on the occasion of uni.lu@20

Colleagues, students and the interested public are invited to this talk on behalf of the UL celebrating its 20th anniversary. It is one of the contributions selected from the Faculty of Humanities, and we are happy that this proposal coming from the Dept. of Geography & Spatial Planning was selected as well. 
    The quote in the title comes from an expert interview in recent research. It illustrates the foundational fact that Luxembourg has considerably more economic power and dynamism that its size and institutional set-up would allow to accommodate to. This is the basic problem that runs through all development and planning conflicts, reinforced by institutional and procedural complexity and inertia. Appropriate strategies need to be structural. However, current practice is constrained by three different sorts of illusion: a growth illusion; a steering illusion; and a sustainability illusion. The lecture will close by reflecting upon some thoughts on how to address structural challenges.
    The talk could be assumed as a menu composed of four courses. The ‘amuse geul’ (S1) includes a short note on where I obtained the knowledge that allows for to make today’s argument (aka my lenses). The 'entrĂ©e' (S2) refers to the work others have been doing on related subject matters in most general terms (aka theory). S3 may comprise the main course: the specificities of Luxembourg’s development trajectory, the dark side of being small-but-global, and the governance illusions that seem pertinent when it comes to policy & planning discourses. As to the dessert (S4), I know that I cannot finish this exercise without addressing what could, or should, be done in order to improve the real-world situation. I remain pretty cautious and won’t present solutions. Instead, I will name a few important requirements that need to be set in place, before one may think about anything that promises to resolve the underlying issues.
    Entrance is free (of course), but the organisers would like to see participants register in advance. This can be done HERE.

Markus Hesse

1 comment:

Temple Nile said...

A brilliant exposition! Your post is insightful, well-crafted, and a pleasure to read. Thanks for sharing your valuable perspective.