Bilkent IR Talks, Spring 2021-7On April 26, 2021, Prof. Eric Helleiner, Department of Political Science at the University of Waterloo, delivered a lecture titled: "The Return of National Self-Sufficiency? Excavating Autarkic Thought in a De-Globalizing Era" for Bilkent's IR Talks. Building upon Prof. Helleiner's existing research on de-globalization, the talk focused on autarkic thought and the prospect of national self-sufficiency. After explaining the history and differences of autarkic and neo-mercantilist economic nationalism, Prof Helleiner focused on the reasons why autarkic thought has been ignored. Following this explanation, Prof. Helleiner investigated the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on autarkic thought and world leaders' aims to achieve self-sufficiency. During the talk, Prof. Helleiner further elaborated on the intellectual tradition of autarkic thought and investigated the scholars advocating for autarkic approaches. Subsequently, Prof Helleiner focused on the cases for autarky through the ideas of international peace and isolation from foreign economic, political, and cultural influence. During the Q&A session, Prof. Helleiner answered questions regarding states' willingness to accept autarkic forms, diminishing state interest in national sufficiency, the rationale of self-sufficiency during the pandemic period, future of capital markets, links between autarky and anti-imperialism, self-sufficiency in non-western organizations, autarky as a political discourse, potential political consequences of autarky, and effects of cyrptocurrencies on autarkic thought.
Eric Helleiner is a Professor in the Department of Political Science and Balsillie School of International Affairs at the University of Waterloo. He received the 2020 IPE Distinguished Scholar Award from the International Studies Association and his most recent books include The Status Quo Crisis: Global Financial Governance After the 2008 Meltdown (Oxford University Press, 2014) and Forgotten Foundations of Bretton Woods (Cornell University Press, 2014) which won the CPSA Prize in International Relations and the Francesco Guicciardini Prize for Best Book in Historical International Relations. His latest book, The Neomercantilists: A Global Intellectual History (Cornell University Press, 2021) will be published later this year.