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Playing Catch Up

Wolfgang Streeck: The German Exception, 4 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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... 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 learned the hard way to accept wage restraint without ...

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? Can associations of equals – built on common interests, ideas and identities – endure, or must they degenerate into empires kept together by force? Such questions go to the foundations of political theory and practice ...

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 2019, 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 ...

Scenario for a Wonderful Tomorrow

Wolfgang Streeck: Merkel Changes Her Mind Again, 31 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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... 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 accusing the German government of sado-monetarism, or ...

A General Logic of Crisis

Adam Tooze, 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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... the Finance Ministry, Heiner Flassbeck, the most prominent voice has belonged to the sociologist Wolfgang Streeck. 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 Institute. It ...

Bye Bye Labour

Richard Seymour, 23 April 2015

... used to control inflation and bust unions, has tended to exacerbate the public debt problem. Wolfgang Streeck 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 by debt repayments and other mandatory ...

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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... 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 European Council has successively extended the Commission’s ...

Where are we now?

LRB Contributors: Responses to the Referendum, 14 July 2016

... Pankaj Mishra, Jan-Werner Müller, Susan Pedersen, J.G.A. Pocock, Nick Richardson, Nicholas Spice, Wolfgang Streeck, 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 suckers and/or closet racists – in fact, relatively ...

Can the poor think?

Malcolm Bull: ‘Nervous States’, 4 July 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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... Without this we are left with the inherent contradiction of ‘democratic capitalism’, which, as Wolfgang Streeck 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 methods to redress ...

Just Be Grateful

Jamie Martin: Unequal Britain, 23 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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... of declining growth, rising inequality and increasing indebtedness,’ the German sociologist Wolfgang Streeck 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 apocalyptic problems we know how to fix but may not ...

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 2019, 978 1 5095 3457 9
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... that nurtures both precarity in the present and forebodings of a more fragile future. Like Wolfgang Streeck, 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 exhibits moral purity without considering the ...

Europe’s Sullen Child

Jan-Werner Müller: Breurope, 2 June 2016

... Europe’ lost all traction after Delors’s exit, which is why social democrats like Wolfgang Streeck 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, as even the Economist is prepared to admit these ...

Against Responsibility

William Davies, 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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... prosper, unthreatened by market forces. Cooper identifies several left-wing sociologists, such as Wolfgang Streeck 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 such as Blue Labour put forward a similar ...

The New World Disorder

Tariq Ali, 9 April 2015

... should we look for a solution? One of the more creative thinkers today is the German sociologist Wolfgang Streeck, 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 well as a national and European level. There ...
... nation-state, but of all nation-states, keeps raising alarm bells in other European countries’ (Wolfgang Streeck). ‘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 Germans see Europe. On the one hand, it is ...

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