The goal of this course is to analyze which instruments economic policy proposes for increasing welfare, reducing disequilibria and social conflicts and presenting the overuse of resources and climate change. To carry out and finetune the instruments under very different circumstances requires a thorough knowledge of economic theory, but also learning from actual policy. Here, we concentrate on Europe and Austria, but discuss the retreat of the USA from multilateralism and China´s ambition to become the leading economy and the catching-up strategy of Africa. Economics should be embedded in broader knowledge provided by other social sciences. It cannot offer experience with total precision and be independent of values and judgement, but there exist many methods with which to carve out facts and instruments that have worked under specific circumstances. Science can help reduce the impact of populism, as well as the quick spread of false information in social networks.
Topics investigated are economic growth, well-being, unemployment, equality, environmental problems, public sector goals and management, migration, trade and globalization. The European election in May will be discussed, along with programs of mainstream, populist and upcoming new parties. Also the breaking up or enlarging of the EU, and the quest for a new European narrative with stronger involvement of citizens.