Wolfgang Streeck

Wolfgang Streeck works at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Cologne.

Through Unending Halls: Factories

Wolfgang Streeck, 7 February 2019

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...

You need a gun: The A-Word

Wolfgang Streeck, 14 December 2017

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...

Playing Catch Up: The German Exception

Wolfgang Streeck, 4 May 2017

Monetary union gives German manufacturing a captive market in Europe, as well as an edge over European competitors that have to operate in more inflationary institutional settings. On top of that, it equips German firms with an undervalued currency in markets outside the Eurozone, especially at a time when the ECB’s quantitative easing keeps pumping up the bloc’s money supply. To restrain the competitiveness of German industries in order to save the single currency, as outsiders sometimes suggest, would from the perspective of the unions be committing suicide for fear of death.

A master politician like Merkel will never let a good crisis go to waste. It wasn’t just media stories about suffering migrants that led her to invite the refugees in Budapest to come to Germany, no papers required and 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, Merkel could hope to recapture the moral high ground.

Adam Tooze’s outpouring is material for a future anatomy of the class rhetoric of faux cosmopolitanism as it flourishes among a soul-searching urban-academic middle class in the post-Brexit moment (LRB, 5 January). Those of us who do not meet the demanding standards of universalist utopianism can find solace in the fact that when it comes to earthly matters, even the inhabitants of the moral...

Unfair to Merkel

30 March 2016

Julian Preece seems to be under the impression that in my piece on Germany and Europe I was most concerned to evaluate the twists and turns of Merkel’s political education (Letters, 5 May). There is lots to be said about this, but my subject was the German belief that other European countries must follow Germany in the name of European unity, and the disastrous effects this has for Europe. As...

A General Logic of Crisis

Adam Tooze, 5 January 2017

Now that his cards are fully on the table it is a good moment to try to answer the question: how did Wolfgang Streeck turn critical theory into a vehicle for the assertion of the primacy of the nation?

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Vanity and Venality: The European Impasse

Susan Watkins, 29 August 2013

The single currency has turned into a monetary choke-lead, forcing a swathe of economies – more than half the Eurozone’s population – into perpetual recession.

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