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5 January 2017
How Will Capitalism End? 
by Wolfgang Streeck.
Verso, 262 pp., £16.99, November 2016, 978 1 78478 401 0
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... beyond the euro.In the German Lexit camp, alongside Lafontaine and his one-time state secretary in the Finance Ministry, Heiner Flassbeck, the most prominent voice has belonged to the sociologist WolfgangStreeck. His role is a sign of the times. Until recently a long-term SPD member, Streeck had done teaching stints at major US universities before becoming the director of the prestigious Max Planck ...

Playing Catch Up

Wolfgang Streeck: The German Exception

3 May 2017
German Economic and Business History in the 19th and 20th Centuries 
by Werner Plumpe.
Palgrave, 367 pp., £86, August 2016, 978 1 137 51859 0
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The Seven Secrets of Germany: Economic Resilience in an Era of Global Turbulence 
by David Audretsch and Erik Lehmann.
Oxford, 229 pp., £22.99, February 2016, 978 0 19 025869 6
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Germany’s Role in the Euro Crisis: Berlin’s Quest for a More Perfect Monetary Union 
by Franz-Josef Meiers.
Springer, 146 pp., £90, November 2016, 978 3 319 37052 1
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... IG Metall in 1995 urged the Kohl government and employers to join the unions in a tripartite ‘Alliance for Jobs’. This, however, was blocked by the Liberal Party (FDP) and the CDU floor leader, Wolfgang Schäuble, who preferred neoliberal ‘structural reforms’ (as he would two decades later in the Mediterranean). In the years that followed, unions in the export sector of the German economy ...

Through Unending Halls

Wolfgang Streeck: Factories

7 February 2019
Behemoth: A History of the Factory and the Making of the Modern World 
by Joshua Freeman.
Norton, 448 pp., £12.99, March, 978 0 393 35662 5
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... It was​ in the early 1960s, I think, that our class at a small-town Gymnasium made a trip to south-western Germany, accompanied by several teachers. We visited Heidelberg and Schwetzingen and similar places without really seeing them; 17-year-old boys have other things on their minds. But we also went to Rüsselsheim, near Frankfurt, for a tour of the Opel car factory. I had never imagined that a ...

You need a gun

Wolfgang Streeck: The A-Word

14 December 2017
The H-Word: The Peripeteia of Hegemony 
by Perry Anderson.
Verso, 190 pp., £16.99, April 2017, 978 1 78663 368 2
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The Antinomies of Antonio Gramsci 
by Perry Anderson.
Verso, 179 pp., £14.99, April 2017, 978 1 78663 372 9
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... What​ is the relationship between coercion and consent? Under what circumstances does power turn into authority, brute force into legitimate leadership? Can coercion work without consent? Can consent be secured without coercion? Does political power depend on voluntary agreement and values shared in common, or does it grow out of the barrel of a gun? When ideas rule, how is that rule maintained ...

Scenario for a Wonderful Tomorrow

Wolfgang Streeck: Merkel Changes Her Mind Again

30 March 2016
Europe’s Orphan: The Future of the Euro and the Politics of Debt 
by Martin Sandbu.
Princeton, 336 pp., £19.95, September 2015, 978 0 691 16830 2
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... no questions asked. What Merkel called ‘showing a friendly face in an emergency’ was meant to shame those who, during the euro crisis, had enjoyed the cartoons of Merkel and her finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, in Nazi uniform. By opening the German border while the French and British borders remained closed, Merkel could hope to recapture the moral high ground occupied for so long by those ...

Bye Bye Labour

Richard Seymour

22 April 2015
... 2008, the trend was that they were gradually increasing. Indeed, the surge in structural unemployment, used to control inflation and bust unions, has tended to exacerbate the public debt problem. WolfgangStreeck and Armin Schäfer argue in Politics in the Age of Austerity (2013) that one result of cost controls is to emaciate the budget for discretionary programmes, as more of the budget is consumed ...

Vanity and Venality

Susan Watkins: The European Impasse

29 August 2013
Un New Deal pour l’Europe 
by Michel Aglietta and Thomas Brand.
Odile Jacob, 305 pp., £20, March 2013, 978 2 7381 2902 4
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Gekaufte Zeit: Die vertagte Krise des demokratischen Kapitalismus 
by Wolfgang Streeck.
Suhrkamp, 271 pp., £20, March 2013, 978 3 518 58592 4
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The Crisis of the European Union: A Response 
by Jürgen Habermas, translated by Ciaran Cronin.
Polity, 120 pp., £16.99, April 2012, 978 0 7456 6242 8
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For Europe! Manifesto for a Postnational Revolution in Europe 
by Daniel Cohn-Bendit and Guy Verhofstadt.
CreateSpace, 152 pp., £9.90, September 2012, 978 1 4792 6188 8
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German Europe 
by Ulrich Beck, translated by Rodney Livingstone.
Polity, 98 pp., £16.99, March 2013, 978 0 7456 6539 9
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The Future of Europe: Towards a Two-Speed EU? 
by Jean-Claude Piris.
Cambridge, 166 pp., £17.99, December 2011, 978 1 107 66256 8
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Au Revoir, Europe: What if Britain Left the EU? 
by David Charter.
Biteback, 334 pp., £14.99, December 2012, 978 1 84954 121 3
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... EU Enlargement; Romania and Bulgaria were whisked into the fold in 2007, with evidence of massive political and economic corruption brushed aside. An ardent disciple of Merkel’s finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, and his hardline stance on budgetary and labour market discipline, Rehn was promoted to Economic and Financial Affairs just as the Greek crisis was erupting in 2010. Since then, the ...

Can the poor think?

Malcolm Bull: ‘Nervous States’

26 June 2019
Nervous States: How Feeling Took Over the World 
by William Davies.
Cape, 272 pp., £16.99, September 2018, 978 1 78733 010 8
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... it served as a rough and ready mechanism for aligning democratic decision-making with market choice. Without this we are left with the inherent contradiction of ‘democratic capitalism’, which, as WolfgangStreeck has argued, is ‘a political economy ruled by two conflicting principles, or regimes, of resource allocation’. According to Streeck, beginning in the 1970s governments tried various ...

Just Be Grateful

Jamie Martin: Unequal Britain

22 April 2015
Breadline Britain: The Rise of Mass Poverty 
by Stewart Lansley and Joanna Mack.
Oneworld, 334 pp., £9.99, February 2015, 978 1 78074 544 2
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Inequality and the 1 Per Cent 
by Danny Dorling.
Verso, 234 pp., £12.99, September 2014, 978 1 78168 585 3
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... long dormant, of capitalism’s finitude has re-emerged: ‘It is high time, in the light of decades of declining growth, rising inequality and increasing indebtedness,’ the German sociologist WolfgangStreeck wrote last summer, ‘to think again about capitalism as a historical phenomenon, one that has not just a beginning, but also an end.’ Inequality has joined climate change on the list of ...

Where are we now?

LRB Contributors: Responses to the Referendum

13 July 2016
... Daniel Finn, Dawn Foster, Jeremy Harding, Colin Kidd, Ross McKibbin, Philippe Marlière, James Meek, Pankaj Mishra, Jan-Werner Müller, Susan Pedersen, J.G.A. Pocock, Nick Richardson, Nicholas Spice, WolfgangStreeck, Daniel TrillingDavid RuncimanSo who​ is to blame? Please don’t say the voters: 17,410,742 is an awful lot of people to be wrong on a question of this magnitude. They are not simply ...

Who’s your dance partner?

Thomas Meaney: Europe inside Africa

7 November 2019
The Scramble for Europe: Young Africa on Its Way to the Old Continent 
by Stephen Smith.
Polity, 197 pp., £15.99, April, 978 1 5095 3457 9
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... need help again. But surely the culprit in this scenario is not immigration: it is the kind of governance that nurtures both precarity in the present and forebodings of a more fragile future. Like WolfgangStreeck, who points to the new underclass of Africans in European cities who hawk umbrellas ‘that last for one rain shower’, Smith worries about the prevalence of a pro-immigration attitude that ...

Europe’s Sullen Child

Jan-Werner Müller: Breurope

1 June 2016
... to opt out again, but pulled back for fear of losing Labour’s support for Remain. But in any event, ‘Social Europe’ lost all traction after Delors’s exit, which is why social democrats like WolfgangStreeck are so thoroughly disenchanted with the Union.* Meanwhile, the single market is relentlessly ‘deepened’. The EU has the world’s strongest anti-monopoly policies: by comparison, the US ...
8 April 2015
... t: they just put sticking plaster on the wounds and hoped that the blood would be stemmed. So where should we look for a solution? One of the more creative thinkers today is the German sociologist WolfgangStreeck, who makes it clear that an alternative structure for the European Union is desperately needed and that it will necessitate more democracy at every stage – at a provincial and city level as ...
8 November 2018
Family Values: Between Neoliberalism and the New Social Conservatism 
by Melinda Cooper.
Zone, 447 pp., £24, March 2017, 978 1 935408 84 0
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... model inspired by 1950s Keynesianism in which traditional gender roles regarding duty and care could prosper, unthreatened by market forces. Cooper identifies several left-wing sociologists, such as WolfgangStreeck and Luc Boltanski, who she believes have fallen into this trap by treating the individualism of the 1960s as the forerunner to the marketisation of the 1980s. In Britain, political movements ...
3 January 2019
... as a matter of course that the end of European unification will be the end not only of the German nation-state, but of all nation-states, keeps raising alarm bells in other European countries’ (WolfgangStreeck). ‘This is why we outlawed these crappy referendums. First the British, now the Turks!’ (man at my local bakery in Berlin). Brexit has contributed to a gradual but tidal change in the way ...

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