Wolfgang Streeck

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pages: 424 words: 115,035

How Will Capitalism End? by Wolfgang Streeck

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Airbnb, basic income, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Bretton Woods, business cycle, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centre right, Clayton Christensen, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, David Brooks, David Graeber, debt deflation, deglobalization, deindustrialization, disruptive innovation, en.wikipedia.org, eurozone crisis, failed state, financial deregulation, financial innovation, first-past-the-post, fixed income, full employment, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, Google Glasses, haute cuisine, income inequality, information asymmetry, invisible hand, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Kenneth Rogoff, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, late capitalism, liberal capitalism, market bubble, means of production, moral hazard, North Sea oil, offshore financial centre, open borders, pension reform, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, post-industrial society, private sector deleveraging, profit maximization, profit motive, quantitative easing, reserve currency, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, savings glut, secular stagnation, shareholder value, sharing economy, sovereign wealth fund, The Future of Employment, The Theory of the Leisure Class by Thorstein Veblen, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transaction costs, Uber for X, upwardly mobile, Vilfredo Pareto, winner-take-all economy, Wolfgang Streeck

Joseph Monsen and Anthony Downs, ‘Public Goods and Private Status’, National Affairs, vol. 23, Spring 1971, pp. 64–77. 3See Wolfgang Streeck, Industrial Relations in West Germany: The Case of the Car Industry, New York: St. Martin’s Press 1984. 4This was described at the time as a transition from mass production to ‘flexible specialization’ (see Michael Piore and Charles Sabel, The Second Industrial Divide: Possibilities for Prosperity, New York: Basic Books 1984) or ‘diversified quality production’: see Wolfgang Streeck, ‘On the Institutional Conditions of Diversified Quality Production’. In: Matzner, Egon and Wolfgang Streeck, eds, Beyond Keynesianism: The Socio-Economics of Production and Employment, London: Edward Elgar 1991, pp. 21–61. 5So at least it appeared to many ‘critical theorists’ in the 1970s.

How Will Capitalism End? How Will Capitalism End? Essays on a Failing System Wolfgang Streeck First published by Verso 2016 © Wolfgang Streeck 2016 Translation of Chapter 5 © Tessa Hauswedell 2016 Translation of Chapter 7 © Rodney Livingstone 2016 A version of Chapter 1 was delivered as the Anglo-German Foundation Lecture at the British Academy on 23 January 2014. Published in: New Left Review 87, May/June 2014, 35–64. Chapter 2 was first presented as the 2011 Max Weber Lecture at the European University Institute, Florence. I am grateful to Daniel Mertens for his research assistance.

Lynd and Helen Merrell Lynd, Middletown in Transition: A Study in Cultural Conflicts, New York: Harcourt 1937). 31This section follows closely the argument in Wolfgang Streeck, ‘A Crisis of Democratic Capitalism’, New Left Review, no. 71, 2011, pp. 1–25. 32The principles of justice that constitute a society’s moral economy are subject to change under the influence of, among other things, changing economic conditions and social discourses. 33Crouch, ‘Privatised Keynesianism’. 34Kalecki, ‘Political Aspects of Full Employment’, pp. 322–331. 35On the following see Wolfgang Streeck, ‘Flexible Employment, Flexible Families, and the Socialization of Reproduction’. In: Coulmas, Florian and Ralph Lützeler, eds, Imploding Populations in Japan and Germany: A Comparison, Leiden: Brill 2011, pp. 63–95. 36In the media and in the government propaganda of most if not all rich capitalist countries today, the ‘battle of the sexes’ has nearly completely eclipsed all other distributional conflicts.


pages: 353 words: 81,436

Buying Time: The Delayed Crisis of Democratic Capitalism by Wolfgang Streeck

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, banking crisis, basic income, Bretton Woods, business cycle, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collective bargaining, corporate governance, creative destruction, David Graeber, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, financial deregulation, financial repression, fixed income, full employment, Garrett Hardin, Gini coefficient, Growth in a Time of Debt, income inequality, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, late capitalism, liberal capitalism, means of production, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, Occupy movement, open borders, open economy, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, profit maximization, risk tolerance, shareholder value, too big to fail, Tragedy of the Commons, union organizing, winner-take-all economy, Wolfgang Streeck

This English-language edition first published by Verso 2014 Translation © Patrick Camiller 2014 First published as Gekaufte Zeit © Suhrkamp Verlag Berlin 2013 All rights reserved The moral rights of the author have been asserted Verso UK: 6 Meard Street, London W1F 0EG US: 20 Jay Street, Suite 1010, Brooklyn, NY 11201 www.versobooks.com Verso is the imprint of New Left Books eBook ISBN-13: 978-1-78168-619-5 (US) eBook ISBN-13: 978-1-78168-551-8 (UK) ISBN-13: 978-1-78168-548-8 (PBK) ISBN-13: 978-1-78168-549-5 (HBK) British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Streeck, Wolfgang, 1946– [Gekaufte Zeit. English] Buying time : the delayed crisis of democratic capitalism / Wolfgang Streeck; translated by Patrick Camiller. pages cm ‘First published as Gekaufte Zeit, Suhrkamp Verlag, Berlin, 2013.’ ISBN 978-1-78168-549-5 (hardback) — ISBN 978-1-78168-619-5 (ebook) 1. Capitalism. 2. Neoliberalism. 3. Democracy—Economic aspects. 4. Economic policy. 5. Financial crises. I. Title.

‘Die Folgen sozialer Ungleichheit für die Demokratie in Westeuropa’, Zeitschrift für vergleichende Politikwissenschaft, vol. 4/1, 2010, pp. 131–56. ———. Republican Liberty and Compulsory Voting, MPIfG Discussion Paper No. 11/17, Cologne: Max-Planck-Institut für Gesellschaftsforschung, 2011. ———. and Wolfgang Streeck, ‘Introduction’, in Armin Schäfer et al. (eds), Politics in the Age of Austerity, Cambridge: Polity, 2013. Scharpf, Fritz W., Crisis and Choice in European Social Democracy, Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1991. ———. ‘Negative and Positive Integration in the Political Economy of European Welfare States’, in Gary Marks et al.

Schmidt (eds), Welfare and Work in the Open Economy, Vol. 2, Diverse Responses to Common Challenges, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. Schlieben, Michael, ‘Die wählen sowieso nicht’, Zeit online, 13 May 2012. Schmitter, Philippe C. and Gerhard Lehmbruch (eds), Trends Towards Corporatist Intermediation, London: Sage, 1979. ———. and Wolfgang Streeck, The Organization of Business Interests: Studying the Associative Action of Business in Advanced Industrial Societies, MPIfG Discussion Paper No. 99/1, Cologne: MaxPlanck-Institut für Gesellschaftsforschung, 1999. Schor, Juliet, The Overworked American: The Unexpected Decline of Leisure, New York: Basic Books, 1992.


Globalists: The End of Empire and the Birth of Neoliberalism by Quinn Slobodian

Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, bilateral investment treaty, borderless world, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, capital controls, central bank independence, collective bargaining, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Doha Development Round, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, floating exchange rates, full employment, Garrett Hardin, Gunnar Myrdal, Hernando de Soto, invisible hand, liberal capitalism, liberal world order, Mahbub ul Haq, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, Mercator projection, Mont Pelerin Society, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, Pearl River Delta, Philip Mirowski, price mechanism, quantitative easing, random walk, rent control, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, special economic zone, statistical model, The Chicago School, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, Thomas L Friedman, trade liberalization, urban renewal, Washington Consensus, Wolfgang Streeck, zero-sum game

The anti-­planning world authority would be an agent of what other liberals called “denationalism,” overseeing the member states of an international federation and enforcing standards of ­free trade and ­free investment.58 Federation was a means of achieving the goals of militant globalism and militant democ- A W o r l d of F e d e r atio n s 105 racy: it is “nothing but the application to international affairs of democracy, the only method of peaceful change man has yet in­ven­ted,” he wrote, “but it is a democracy with definitely limited powers.”59 Hayek’s proposals for global governance had been largely passed over ­until scholars recently rediscovered, in his proposals for federalism, the “reinvention of liberal internationalism” and the implicit—­and even explicit—­inspiration for Eu­ro­pean economic integration.60 Wolfgang Streeck writes that Hayek’s work “reads like a blueprint for ­today’s ­Eu­ro­pean Union” in its design for institutions that link “internationalization” and “denationalization” with inexorable liberalization.61 Chapter 6 weighs the claim of Hayekian inspiration for Eu­ro­pean integration, and Chapter 7 his influence on architects of the World Trade Organ­ization.

Bill Clinton, Remarks to the World Economic Forum, January 26, 1995, http://­w ww​ .­presidency​.­ucsb​.­edu​/­ws​/­​?­pid​= ­51667. 2. Regierungserklärung des Bundeskanzlers Gerhard Schröder (SPD), “Mut zum Frieden und zur Veränderung,” March 14, 2003, http://­w ww​.­documentArchiv​.­de​ /­brd​/­2003​/­rede​_­schroeder​_­03​-­14​.­html. 3. Quoted in Wolfgang Streeck, Buying Time: The Delayed Crisis of Demo­cratic Capitalism (New York: Verso, 2014), 213. 4. Chakravarthi Raghavan, “Trade: The Empire Strikes Back,” SUNS—­South North Development Monitor, September 20, 1999; Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, ­Empire (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2000). 5.

Hayek und die Freiburger Schule,” Ordo 54 (2003): 3–20. For dissenting views, see Keith Tribe, Strategies of Economic Order: German Economic Discourse, 1750–1950 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1995), 208; Manuel Wörsdörfer, “Von Hayek and Ordoliberalism on Justice,” Journal of the History of Economic Thought 35, no. 3 (2013): 309. Wolfgang Streeck makes a similar argument: “­Today’s post-­democratic, or better perhaps: a-­democratic, Hayekian capitalism, ­a fter the victory, or almost-­v ictory, of neoliberalism, may be regarded as a historically updated version of ordoliberalism.” Streeck, “Heller, Schmitt and the Euro,” Eu­ro­pean Law Journal 21, no. 3 (May 2015): 365. 296 NOTES TO PAGES 12–24 50.


pages: 393 words: 91,257

The Coming of Neo-Feudalism: A Warning to the Global Middle Class by Joel Kotkin

Admiral Zheng, Andy Kessler, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bernie Sanders, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, clean water, creative destruction, deindustrialization, demographic transition, don't be evil, Donald Trump, edge city, Elon Musk, European colonialism, financial independence, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, gig economy, Gini coefficient, Google bus, guest worker program, Hans Rosling, Herbert Marcuse, housing crisis, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job polarisation, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, land reform, liberal capitalism, life extension, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, megacity, Nate Silver, new economy, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, Parag Khanna, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, post-industrial society, post-work, postindustrial economy, postnationalism / post nation state, precariat, profit motive, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, Richard Florida, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Sam Altman, San Francisco homelessness, Satyajit Das, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart cities, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, superstar cities, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The future is already here, The Future of Employment, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, trade route, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, We are the 99%, Wolfgang Streeck, women in the workforce, working-age population, Y Combinator

Labor Market Looks Somewhat Like Japan’s,” Bloomberg, June 19, 2018, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018–06-19/powell-s-puzzling-u-s-labor-market-looks-somewhat-like-japan-s; Peter Dockrill, “US Fertility Rates Have Plummeted Into Uncharted Territory, And Nobody Knows Why,” Science Alert, May 21, 2018, https://www.sciencealert.com/us-birth-rate-hits-record-low-fertility-plummets-uncharted-territory-cdc-decline; Andrew Van Dam, “Toys R Us’s baby problem is everybody’s baby problem,” Washington Post, March 15, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2018/03/15/toys-r-uss-baby-problem-is-everybodys-baby-problem/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.fb1caf2d80c5; Justin Fox, “The Consequences of the U.S. Baby Bust,” Bloomberg Opinion, September 20, 2017, https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-09-20/the-consequences-of-the-u-s-baby-bust; Wolfgang Streeck, How Will Capitalism End? Essays on a Failing System (New York: Verso, 2016), 219. 30 Phil Longman, The Empty Cradle: How Falling Birthrates Threaten World Prosperity (New York: New America Books, 2004); Joel Kotkin, “Death Spiral Demographics: The Countries Shrinking the Fastest,” Forbes, February 1, 2017, https://www.forbes.com/sites/joelkotkin/2017/02/01/death-spiral-demographics-the-countries-shrinking-the-fastest/#4ae48b38b83c. 31 Alex Gray, “The troubling charts that show young people losing faith in democracy,” World Economic Forum, December 1, 2016, https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/12/charts-that-show-young-people-losing-faith-in-democracy/. 32 Amanda Taub, “How Stable Are Democracies?

(New York: Simon & Schuster, 2013), xii. 38 Will Oremus, “Most Americans Still Don’t Fear Big Tech’s Power,” Slate, March 16, 2018, https://slate.com/technology/2018/03/most-americans-still-dont-fear-big-techs-power-survey-finds.html; Aaron Smith, “Public Attitudes Toward Technology Companies,” Pew Research Center, June 28, 2018, http://www.pewinternet.org/2018/06/28/public-attitudes-toward-technology-companies/. 39 Wolfgang Streeck, How Will Capitalism End? (New York: Verso, 2016), 117. 40 Philip Elmer-DeWitt, “The Tea Party, Occupy Wall Street and Steve Jobs,” Fortune, November 6, 2011, http://fortune.com/2011/11/06/the-tea-party-occupy-wall-street-and-steve-jobs/. 41 Piketty, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, 444. 42 David Callahan, Fortunes of Change: The Rise of the Liberal Rich and the Remaking of America (New York: Wiley, 2010), 67, 269. 43 “America’s Gilded Age: Robber Barons and Captains of Industry,” Maryville University, https://online.maryville.edu/business-degrees/americas-gilded-age/.

CHAPTER 15—PEASANT REBELLIONS 1 Christopher Caldwell, “Sending Jobs Overseas,” Claremont Review of Books, Spring 2017, http://www.claremont.org/crb/article/sending-jobs-overseas/#.WRf0XNzmbGE.twitter. 2 Adele M. Stan, “Trump and the Rise of 21st Century Fascism,” American Prospect, August 27, 2018, http://prospect.org/article/trump-and-rise-21st-century-fascism. 3 Wolfgang Streeck, How Will Capitalism End? Essays on a Failing System (Brooklyn: Verso, 2016), 67; Anand Giridharadas, “After the Financial Crisis, Wall Street Turned to Charity—and Avoided Justice,” New Yorker, September 15, 2018, https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/after-the-financial-crisis-wall-street-turned-to-charityand-avoided-justice. 4 Dani Rodrik, “Populism and the economics of globalization,” Journal of International Business Policy, 2018, https://drodrik.scholar.harvard.edu/files/dani-rodrik/files/populism_and_the_economics_of_globalization.pdf. 5 Pierre Riché, Daily Life in the World of Charlemagne, trans.


pages: 364 words: 104,697

Were You Born on the Wrong Continent? by Thomas Geoghegan

Albert Einstein, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, banking crisis, Bear Stearns, Berlin Wall, Bob Geldof, collective bargaining, corporate governance, cross-subsidies, dark matter, David Brooks, declining real wages, deindustrialization, disinformation, ending welfare as we know it, facts on the ground, Gini coefficient, haute cuisine, income inequality, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, laissez-faire capitalism, low skilled workers, Martin Wolf, McJob, minimum wage unemployment, mittelstand, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, payday loans, pensions crisis, Plutocrats, plutocrats, purchasing power parity, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, The Theory of the Leisure Class by Thorstein Veblen, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, union organizing, Wolfgang Streeck, women in the workforce

At this time, there was a common view in Germany that the world would no longer need its high-quality goods. Somehow the fact that they kept selling them was just a fluke. Thanks to Americans, many Germans—intellectuals, businessmen—had talked themselves into thinking German-type capitalism wouldn’t work anymore. On the left, Wolfgang Streeck had presented this case in a much-buzzed-about paper: “German Capitalism: Does It Exist? Can It Survive?” He said there were vanishing investment opportunities because the Germans were running out of new things to make. It was The Decline of the West all over again. It was inevitable. Mr. Z. seemed to take this view.

At O’Hare, I was still trying to settle the Dickieson case and set up a deposition when I got on Lufthansa and had to turn off my cell phone. And we were up in the air—and soon they were bringing brötchen and I was already in Europe. I pulled out some of my notes from 1997, and I had packed my trusty copy of Wolfgang Streeck’s “German Capitalism: Does It Exist? Can It Survive?” I expected in Berlin people would argue about the German model as they had before. But what I read on the plane was Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. Yes, I know, it was a bestseller, so I broke my rule in buying it.

Even in “sales,” which is Sennett’s bugaboo, Willy Loman has a “career,” a sense of craft that is practically medieval, literally doing the same job, learning the product, going deeper into it every year. And to a labor lawyer like me, the paradox about the American emphasis on “team” is that, in the U.S., there is no real sense of “team.” Take a look at their depositions: there are so many hostile, sullen people. Based on what I’ve seen, I’m inclined to believe Wolfgang Streeck when he makes a standard point about the U.S. and German models. While Streeck was pessimistic about the German model, he still notes its advantages. In the U.S., for example, where the corporation is authoritarian and undemocratic, it’s easy to make decisions. The hard thing is to implement them.


pages: 160 words: 46,449

The Extreme Centre: A Warning by Tariq Ali

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Berlin Wall, bonus culture, BRICs, British Empire, centre right, deindustrialization, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, first-past-the-post, full employment, labour market flexibility, land reform, light touch regulation, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, mortgage debt, negative equity, Neil Kinnock, North Sea oil, obamacare, offshore financial centre, popular capitalism, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, The Chicago School, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, trickle-down economics, Washington Consensus, Westphalian system, Wolfgang Streeck

See ‘In Cold War, US Spy Agencies Used 1,000 Nazis’, New York Times, 26 October 2014. 4 A recent study by Emily Morris, a lecturer at University College London, revealed that Cuba scored higher on all the social indices than the Eastern European states. See ‘The Cuban Surprise’, New Left Review, July–August 2014. 5 Two important books on this subject are the late Peter Mair’s Ruling the Void (London and New York, 2013) and Wolfgang Streeck’s Buying Time: The Delayed Crisis of Democratic Capitalism (London and New York, 2014). Both highlight the processes at work. Mair’s stinging attack on the EU provides a very strong basis for a left critique of the German-dominated bankers’ union. 6 Seumas Milne’s The Enemy Within (fourth edition, London and New York, 2014) has become a classic on the subject, detailing the methods deployed by the State to defeat the miners. 7 In September 2014, Spaniards were startled to learn that their right-wing government – the modernized heirs of Franco currently wrecking their country on behalf of the Troika – had decided to erect a statue to her memory in Madrid. 1 English Questions We live in a country without an opposition.

Only in Spain and Greece, both countries with a long experience of civil war and dictatorship, have we seen the possibility of something different. A challenge to the extreme centre from the left, but an untried left that has yet to be tested. It would be an error if they simply accepted the legitimacy of the EU and its institutions as presently constituted. The German sociologist Wolfgang Streeck has, in the last chapter of his Buying Time, sketched the outline of what form a new, democratic European Constitution could take, representing as the continent does a culturally diverse and socially heterogeneous reality. The merchants of the status quo have granted the European Parliament some more powers, but not sovereignty.


pages: 338 words: 92,465

Reskilling America: Learning to Labor in the Twenty-First Century by Katherine S. Newman, Hella Winston

active measures, blue-collar work, business cycle, collective bargaining, Computer Numeric Control, deindustrialization, desegregation, factory automation, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, job-hopping, knowledge economy, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, performance metric, reshoring, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, two tier labour market, union organizing, upwardly mobile, War on Poverty, Wolfgang Streeck, working poor

This finding resonates well with the sociological literature on labor market transitions.” Wolfgang Streeck, “Successful Adjustment to Turbulent Markets: The Automobile Industry,” in Industry and Politics in West Germany: Toward the Third Republic, ed. Peter J. Katzenstein (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1989), 113–56; Wolfgang Streeck, “Beneficial Constraints: On the Economic Limits of Rational Voluntarism,” in Contemporary Capitalism: The Embeddedness of Institutions, ed. J. Rogers Hollingsworth and Robert Boyer (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1997), 197–219. Wolfgang Streeck, Social Institutions and Economic Performance: Studies of Industrial Relations in Advanced Capitalist Economies (London: Sage, 1992), 1–40.


The New Class War: Saving Democracy From the Metropolitan Elite by Michael Lind

affirmative action, anti-communist, basic income, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, business cycle, capital controls, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, centre right, collective bargaining, commoditize, corporate governance, crony capitalism, deindustrialization, disinformation, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, future of work, global supply chain, guest worker program, Haight Ashbury, illegal immigration, immigration reform, independent contractor, invisible hand, knowledge economy, liberal world order, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, means of production, moral panic, Nate Silver, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open borders, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, purchasing power parity, Ralph Nader, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trade liberalization, union organizing, universal basic income, upwardly mobile, WikiLeaks, Wolfgang Streeck, working poor

Among contemporary scholars, who may reject some or all of my arguments and conclusions, I would like to acknowledge intellectual debts to Julius Krein on managerialism; David Marquand on pluralism; Edna Bonacich on split labor markets; Theda Skocpol on mass-membership organizations; Sheri Berman and Wolfgang Streeck on the history of social democracy; David Goodhart, Eric Kaufmann, Matthew Goodwin, Christophe Guilluy, and Nancy Fraser on populism, nationalism, and social class; Yascha Mounk on undemocratic liberalism; James K. Galbraith, Robert D. Atkinson, Dani Rodrik, Erik Reinert, Ha-Joon Chang, and Robert Kuttner on the economy; Daniel McCarthy on palliative liberalism; Reihan Salam, the late Vernon M.

Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth Of Nations, Book VI, Chapter II, “Of the Sources of the General or Public Revenue of the Society,” Part II, “Of Taxes,” Article II, “Taxes Upon Profit, or Upon the Revenue Arising from Stock,” Project Gutenberg ebook of An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, ebook #3300, accessed October 3, 2019, https://www.gutenberg.org/files/3300/3300-h/3300-h.htm#chap11. 24. Smith, An Inquiry, Book I, Chapter IX, “On the Profits of Stock.” 25. Peter Mair, Ruling the Void: The Hollowing of Western Democracy (London: Verso, 2013), p. 1. 26. Wolfgang Streeck and Philippe C. Schmitter, “From National Corporatism to Transnational Pluralism: Organized Interests in the Single European Market,” Politics and Society, June 1, 1991. 27. David Skelton, “Government of the Technocrats, by the Technocrats, for the Technocrats,” New Statesman, November 16, 2011; James Mackenzie, Diana Khyriakidou, “A Tale of Two Technocrats: Paths Diverge for Greece and Italy,” Reuters, February 3, 2012. 28.


pages: 174 words: 58,894

London Review of Books by London Review of Books

Albert Einstein, cuban missile crisis, David Attenborough, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, failed state, Mikhail Gorbachev, Neil Kinnock, Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, tulip mania, Wolfgang Streeck

Gentlemen no longer fight duels with their social equals to avenge slights, or publicly cane social inferiors thought to have insulted them. Like then, however, we are surrounded by hyper-partisanship, alternative facts, widely accepted conspiracy theories, demagogic politics and prominent political figures collaborating with foreign governments. Some things never change. * * * You need a gun Wolfgang Streeck | 3053 words The H-Word: The Peripeteia of Hegemony by Perry Anderson Verso, 190 pp., £16.99, April, ISBN: 978 1 78663 368 2 The Antinomies of Antonio Gramsci by Perry Anderson Verso, 179 pp., £14.99, April, ISBN: 978 1 78663 372 9 What is the relationship between coercion and consent?

Rory Scothorne is doing a PhD at Edinburgh University. Ruth Scurr is the author of a biography of Robespierre and, most recently, of John Aubrey: My Own Life . Stephen Sedley is a former appeal court judge. A collection of essays is due in 2018. Daniel Soar is an editor at the LRB . Wolfgang Streeck ’s How Will Capitalism End? came out last year. He is director emeritus of the Max Planck Institute in Cologne. Michael Wood ’s time is never squandered. * * * Tree-Planting James Arthur | 404 words The crew come from all over, because the money is that good. Women, men – many are students planting as a summer job, moiling in the mud, sweating bug spray.


pages: 375 words: 105,586

A Small Farm Future: Making the Case for a Society Built Around Local Economies, Self-Provisioning, Agricultural Diversity and a Shared Earth by Chris Smaje

agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Alfred Russel Wallace, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, Boris Johnson, carbon footprint, clean water, collaborative consumption, Corn Laws, Covid-19, COVID-19, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, energy transition, European colonialism, failed state, financial deregulation, financial independence, Food sovereignty, future of work, garden city movement, Garrett Hardin, global pandemic, Hans Rosling, hive mind, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, land reform, mass immigration, megacity, Naomi Klein, Peace of Westphalia, peak oil, post-industrial society, precariat, profit maximization, profit motive, rent-seeking, Silicon Valley, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs, Washington Consensus, Wolfgang Streeck, zero-sum game

This may happen as wage stagnation and rising poverty, inequality and work precarity, set against rising capitalist profits – increasingly common worldwide, especially in the richer countries – makes hopes of long-term prosperity for the majority of people ever more visibly blocked by a minority.124 Sociologist Wolfgang Streeck coined the term ‘consolidation state’ to describe the turning away of the contemporary state from the wider interests of its citizens towards the specific interests of global markets and the wealthy owners of capital. Naomi Klein calls it ‘McGovernment’, a ‘happy meal of cutting taxes, privatizing services, liberalizing regulations, busting unions’ to remove impediments to private markets.125 In this way, the ideal of the creative and productive neoliberal market economy becomes the reality of rapacious and unfettered rent-seeking by global capital.

What happens when the non-symbolic world claims back the debt, when systemic political and economic crises start propagating, when increasing job precarity prompts political revolt or when cash stops being transferable is anybody’s guess. But possibly the situation of the 2 billion or so, mostly poor, farmers of the world who currently seem destined not to find more lucrative jobs within the waged economy might brighten. Indeed, their numbers might swell. Wolfgang Streeck argues that the combination of increasing inequality, debt and political stress with decreasing growth will probably end the era of capitalism – one that lasted longer than anyone could have expected on the basis of its strange socioeconomic ordering: an economy requiring limitless growth, and a society that, in his words: ‘secures its collective reproduction as an unintended side-effect of individually rational, competitive profit maximization’ that puts its productive capital into the hands of a minority, thereby largely abdicating political responsibility for human welfare.

But it still seems unlikely that existing states will be able to deliver a small farm future, or else rescue the present global order from the crises enveloping it. This is partly because the depth and speed of these crises isn’t prompting the degree of radical rethinking that’s needed to overcome them. It’s also because the very structure of the modern state itself is part of the problem (see Wolfgang Streeck’s consolidation state argument, Chapter 1, ‘Crisis #9: Political Economy’, page 66). We seem to be living in an age of zombie liberalism. Neither right-wing versions – that price-responsive markets will progressively solve current problems – nor left-wing versions – that justice-responsive governments will progressively solve current problems and fairly distribute the economic surplus – show any vital signs, yet they still dominate the political scene.


pages: 290 words: 76,216

What's Wrong With Economics: A Primer for the Perplexed by Robert Skidelsky

"Robert Solow", additive manufacturing, agricultural Revolution, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, business cycle, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, cognitive bias, conceptual framework, Corn Laws, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, full employment, George Akerlof, George Santayana, global supply chain, global village, Gunnar Myrdal, happiness index / gross national happiness, hindsight bias, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, index fund, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, Internet Archive, invisible hand, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, loss aversion, Mahbub ul Haq, Mark Zuckerberg, market clearing, market friction, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, Modern Monetary Theory, moral hazard, paradox of thrift, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, Philip Mirowski, precariat, price anchoring, principal–agent problem, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, sunk-cost fallacy, survivorship bias, technoutopianism, The Chicago School, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, The Theory of the Leisure Class by Thorstein Veblen, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs, transfer pricing, Vilfredo Pareto, Washington Consensus, Wolfgang Streeck, zero-sum game

The demand for sociology as a science of society may have weakened, but there is also a problem with the supply. Contemporary sociologists have, by and large, left the economy to the economists, even though the economists’ image of a world in which the ‘invisible hand’ of the market guarantees social stability is profoundly opposed to the sociological standpoint. Sociology, writes Wolfgang Streeck, must rediscover political economy.9 The choice between the individual and the social is not straightforward. One strong defence can be offered for methodological individualism: it guards against treating individuals simply as members of groups, deprived of agency. Its weakness is that it ignores the architecture of choice.

It is surely no coincidence that the policy of central bank independence depends largely on the acceptance that economics is a science, and thus the decisions of a central bank are technical, rather than political, in nature. The idea of a technocratic ruling group, above ‘class’ and ruling in the interests of the whole society, is strongly challenged by those in the Marxist tradition. Capitalism and democracy, writes the German sociologist Wolfgang Streeck, ‘are both individually as well as in their respective combinations, the outcome of specific configurations of classes and class interests as evolved in a historical process, driven not by intelligent design, but by the distribution of class political capacities.’18 The Keynesian revolution itself represented a balance of forces between an increasingly organised working class and a capitalist class on the defensive.19 5.


pages: 339 words: 95,270

Trade Wars Are Class Wars: How Rising Inequality Distorts the Global Economy and Threatens International Peace by Matthew C. Klein

Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, asset-backed security, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business climate, business cycle, capital controls, centre right, collective bargaining, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deglobalization, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, financial innovation, financial repression, fixed income, full employment, George Akerlof, global supply chain, global value chain, illegal immigration, income inequality, intangible asset, invention of the telegraph, joint-stock company, land reform, Long Term Capital Management, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, manufacturing employment, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, Mikhail Gorbachev, Money creation, money market fund, mortgage debt, New Urbanism, Nixon triggered the end of the Bretton Woods system, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, paradox of thrift, passive income, reserve currency, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Scramble for Africa, sovereign wealth fund, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, trade liberalization, Wolfgang Streeck

A generous welfare state, an aging society with a stagnant population, and minimal productivity growth ensured that more and more of the budget was being devoted to pensions, unemployment benefits, health care, and debt service. By the early 2000s, the social security system and interest payments alone were consuming half of the federal budget. Another 25 percent of the budget went to long-term jobless benefits and the salaries of federal bureaucrats. Wolfgang Streeck, the director of the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, summarized the situation as one where the “long-term build-up of financial commitments and legal obligations” had “curtailed the degrees of freedom of public policy.” In the absence of “opportunities for statecraft to make a difference,” Germany’s elected officials opted instead for “stagecraft” to maintain the “façade of free political choice.”

Deutsche Bundesbank, “Lending to Foreign Nonbanks, Total”; Deutsche Bundesbank, “Lending to Foreign Banks (MFIs), Total”; Deutsche Bundesbank, “Balance of Payments,” https://www.bundesbank.de/en/statistics/external-sector/balance-of-payments. 51. Konstantin von Hammerstein and René Pfister, “Merkel’s Dispassionate Approach to the Euro Crisis,” Der Spiegel, December 12, 2012. 52. Wolfgang Streeck, “Endgame? The Fiscal Crisis of the German State,” Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, MPIfG Discussion Paper 07/7. 53. Federal Ministry of Finance, Economics Department, “Reforming the Constitutional Budget Rules in Germany,” September 2009, http://www.kas.de/wf/doc/kas_21127-1522-4-30.pdf?


Corbyn by Richard Seymour

anti-communist, banking crisis, battle of ideas, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, centre right, collective bargaining, credit crunch, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, first-past-the-post, full employment, gender pay gap, housing crisis, income inequality, knowledge economy, land value tax, liberal world order, mass immigration, means of production, moral panic, Naomi Klein, negative equity, Neil Kinnock, new economy, non-tariff barriers, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, pension reform, Philip Mirowski, precariat, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, rent control, Snapchat, stakhanovite, Washington Consensus, wealth creators, Winter of Discontent, Wolfgang Streeck, working-age population, éminence grise

, LRB blog, 3 December 2015. 12Colin Crouch, Coping with Post-Democracy, Fabian Society, 2000; Colin Crouch, Post-Democracy, London: Polity, 2004; Colin Crouch, The Strange Non-Death of Neo-Liberalism, London: Polity, 2011. 13Peter Mair, Ruling the Void: The Hollowing Out of Western Democracy, London: Verso, 2013, Kindle Loc. 367. 14Peter Mair, Ruling the Void: The Hollowing Out of Western Democracy, London: Verso, 2013, Kindle Loc. 437–67. 15Armin Schäfer and Wolfgang Streeck, ‘Introduction: Politics in the Age of Austerity’, in Armin Schäfer and Wolfgang Streeck, eds., Politics in the Age of Austerity, Cambridge: Polity, p. 16. 16Peter Mair, Ruling the Void: The Hollowing Out of Western Democracy, London: Verso, 2013, Kindle Loc. 665. 17Peter Mair, Ruling the Void: The Hollowing Out of Western Democracy, London: Verso, 2013, Kindle Loc. 623. 18Pippa Norris, ‘Apathetic Landslide’, Parliamentary Affairs, 54, 2001, pp. 565–89. 19Pippa Norris, ‘Apathetic Landslide’, Parliamentary Affairs, 54, 2001, pp. 565–89; Ron Johnson and Charles Pattie, Putting Voters in Their Place: geography and elections in Great Britain, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006, p. 246. 20David Garner, ‘Why do so few people vote in UK elections now?’


pages: 100 words: 31,338

After Europe by Ivan Krastev

affirmative action, bank run, Berlin Wall, central bank independence, clean water, conceptual framework, creative destruction, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, illegal immigration, job automation, mass immigration, moral panic, open borders, post-work, postnationalism / post nation state, Silicon Valley, Slavoj Žižek, too big to fail, Wolfgang Streeck, World Values Survey, Y Combinator

Most Europeans believe that the lives of today’s children will be more difficult than those of their own generation; and as the refugee crisis demonstrates, immigration is unlikely to provide Europe with a solution for its demographic weakness. But it is not only demography that puts the European welfare state in a precarious position. According to Wolfgang Streeck, the director of the Max Plank Institute and one of Germany’s leading sociologists, the European welfare state model has been in crisis since the 1970s. Capitalism has successfully wrested free from the institutions and regulations imposed on it after World War II, and as a result, the much praised European “tax state” has effectively been transformed into a “debt state.”


pages: 121 words: 36,908

Four Futures: Life After Capitalism by Peter Frase

Airbnb, basic income, bitcoin, business cycle, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, cryptocurrency, deindustrialization, Dogecoin, Edward Snowden, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ferguson, Missouri, fixed income, full employment, future of work, Herbert Marcuse, high net worth, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), iterative process, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Kim Stanley Robinson, litecoin, mass incarceration, means of production, Occupy movement, pattern recognition, peak oil, Plutocrats, plutocrats, post-work, postindustrial economy, price mechanism, private military company, Ray Kurzweil, Robert Gordon, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart meter, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, The future is already here, The Future of Employment, Thomas Malthus, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We are the 99%, Wolfgang Streeck

This doesn’t mean engaging in the secular eschatology that sets a firm end date on capitalism—too many socialists and apocalyptic preachers have made that mistake. It’s too simplistic to think of discrete endings in any case; labels for social systems like “capitalism” and “socialism” are abstractions, and there is never a single moment when we can definitively say that one turns into the other. My view is closer to the sociologist Wolfgang Streeck: The image I have of the end of capitalism—an end that I believe is already under way—is one of a social system in chronic disrepair, for reasons of its own and regardless of the absence of a viable alternative. While we cannot know when and how exactly capitalism will disappear and what will succeed it, what matters is that no force is on hand that could be expected to reverse the three downward trends in economic growth, social equality and financial stability and end their mutual reinforcement.28 The four chapters that follow are each dedicated to one of the four futures: communism, rentism, socialism, and exterminism.


pages: 409 words: 118,448

An Extraordinary Time: The End of the Postwar Boom and the Return of the Ordinary Economy by Marc Levinson

affirmative action, airline deregulation, banking crisis, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boycotts of Israel, Bretton Woods, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, car-free, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centre right, clean water, deindustrialization, endogenous growth, falling living standards, financial deregulation, floating exchange rates, full employment, George Gilder, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, informal economy, intermodal, invisible hand, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, late capitalism, linear programming, manufacturing employment, new economy, Nixon shock, Nixon triggered the end of the Bretton Woods system, North Sea oil, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, pension reform, price stability, purchasing power parity, refrigerator car, Right to Buy, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, rolodex, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Simon Kuznets, statistical model, strikebreaker, structural adjustment programs, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, unorthodox policies, upwardly mobile, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, Winter of Discontent, Wolfgang Streeck, women in the workforce, working-age population, yield curve, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

The theme of ungovernability, much discussed in the 1970s, emerged again in the twenty-first century as political leaders struggled to communicate convincing visions of a better future. It is easy to read the economic changes that began around 1973 as a perversion of the postwar social contract. The German sociologist Wolfgang Streeck, for example, interprets what he calls “the crisis of late capitalism” in the final decades of the twentieth century as “an unfolding of the old fundamental tension between capitalism and democracy—a gradual process that broke up the forced marriage between the two after the Second World War.”

Robert Brenner, The Economics of Global Turbulence (London: Verso, 2006), 6–7, 101–109. Brenner identifies manufacturers’ declining profits as a major cause of poor productivity growth. 15. Raghuram G. Rajan, Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2010). 16. Wolfgang Streeck, Buying Time: The Delayed Crisis of Global Capitalism (London: Verso, 2014), 4. 17. Retirement ages are from OECD estimates of the average effective age of retirement. On Social Security, see Orlo Nichols, Michael Clingman, and Alice Wade, “Internal Real Rates of Return Under the OASDI Program for Hypothetical Workers,” Social Security Administration Actuarial Note, no. 2004.5 (March 2005).


pages: 221 words: 46,396

The Left Case Against the EU by Costas Lapavitsas

anti-work, banking crisis, Bretton Woods, capital controls, central bank independence, collective bargaining, declining real wages, eurozone crisis, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, global reserve currency, hiring and firing, neoliberal agenda, offshore financial centre, post-work, price stability, quantitative easing, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, Washington Consensus, Wolfgang Streeck

Every effort has been made to trace all copyright holders, but if any have been overlooked the publisher will be pleased to include any necessary credits in any subsequent reprint or edition. For further information on Polity, visit our website: politybooks.com Acknowledgements Several people should be thanked for making this book possible without bearing any responsibility for its shortcomings. Fritz Scharpf and Wolfgang Streeck provided intellectual testing and support during a brief stay in Cologne. Particular thanks should go to Martin Höpner, who, apart from being a sharp interlocutor, went through the text meticulously and with a critical eye. Bob Brenner spent time and effort examining some of the key arguments.


pages: 254 words: 69,276

The Metric Society: On the Quantification of the Social by Steffen Mau

Airbnb, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, connected car, crowdsourcing, double entry bookkeeping, future of work, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, lifelogging, Mark Zuckerberg, mittelstand, moral hazard, personalized medicine, positional goods, principal–agent problem, profit motive, QR code, reserve currency, school choice, selection bias, sharing economy, smart cities, the scientific method, the strength of weak ties, Uber for X, web of trust, Wolfgang Streeck

A person who holidays in Italy every year will never see another advert for cruises to the Norwegian fiords. Online purchases, mobility profiles, friend networks and website visits are all used to build up a customized advertising environment which simultaneously excludes anything that doesn't ‘match’ our profile. What we are witnessing here is a paradox of expanding and narrowing options. Wolfgang Streeck sees in this the rise of a new form of sociation characterized by increasing fragmentation and tribalization: ‘The expansion of individual choice that comes with the digitalization of social relations, including corporate sales channels, also means more opportunities for deselection. Therefore, the possibility of chance confrontations with the unknown, or things that were perhaps only rejected out of ignorance, is ruled out, and potentially productive disturbances of already made identity decisions cannot occur’ (2015b: 79).


pages: 700 words: 201,953

The Social Life of Money by Nigel Dodd

accounting loophole / creative accounting, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, Bitcoin Ponzi scheme, blockchain, borderless world, Bretton Woods, BRICs, business cycle, capital controls, cashless society, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, computer age, conceptual framework, credit crunch, cross-subsidies, David Graeber, debt deflation, dematerialisation, disintermediation, Dogecoin, eurozone crisis, fiat currency, financial exclusion, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial repression, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, German hyperinflation, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Herbert Marcuse, Hyman Minsky, illegal immigration, informal economy, interest rate swap, Isaac Newton, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, Kula ring, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, late capitalism, liberal capitalism, liquidity trap, litecoin, London Interbank Offered Rate, M-Pesa, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, mental accounting, microcredit, mobile money, Modern Monetary Theory, Money creation, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mortgage debt, National Debt Clock, negative equity, new economy, Nixon shock, Nixon triggered the end of the Bretton Woods system, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, paradox of thrift, payday loans, Peace of Westphalia, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, Ponzi scheme, post scarcity, Post-Keynesian economics, postnationalism / post nation state, predatory finance, price mechanism, price stability, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, remote working, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Thaler, risk free rate, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Satoshi Nakamoto, Scientific racism, seigniorage, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transaction costs, Veblen good, Wave and Pay, Westphalian system, WikiLeaks, Wolfgang Streeck, yield curve, zero-coupon bond

Debt underwrites hierarchy and moral order among nations as well as individuals, as if the “price of a country’s sovereign debt (the interest rates its bonds command on these markets) appears as an objectified measure of some sort of underlying moral worth in the eyes of investors” (Fourcade 2013: 22). According to Wolfgang Streeck, this attitude has been especially pronounced during the Eurozone crisis, with Greece cast as the morally dubious debtor: “The moral discourse on Greek public finances focuses on ‘the Greek citizens’ and their presumed duty to pay off debt taken up by their past governments, supposedly to enable their voters to enjoy an easy life on unearned income” (Streeck 2013: 18).

The crisis has focused on the large deficits of specific member states, which reflect complex linkages among money, public finances, private debt, and the global banking system. These are combining to enact different aspects of what Strange called overbanking. The complex nexus of public and private debt that defines the parameters of the crisis has torn the democratic integrity of its constituent member states apart. According to Wolfgang Streeck (Streeck 2011), the form of democratic capitalism found in the Eurozone operates according to two conflicting regimes of resource allocation, one based on marginal productivity and determined by market forces, the other based on need or entitlement and determined by democratic politics. These principles almost never align; one usually holds sway until there is a reaction, and such a reaction, e.g., of democracy against the market, was described through Polanyi’s notion of double movement (Polanyi 1957b).


pages: 307 words: 82,680

A Pelican Introduction: Basic Income by Guy Standing

bank run, basic income, Bernie Sanders, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, Black Swan, Boris Johnson, British Empire, centre right, collective bargaining, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, declining real wages, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial intermediation, full employment, future of work, gig economy, Gunnar Myrdal, housing crisis, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, independent contractor, intangible asset, job automation, job satisfaction, Joi Ito, labour market flexibility, land value tax, libertarian paternalism, low skilled workers, lump of labour, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, mass incarceration, moral hazard, Nelson Mandela, offshore financial centre, open economy, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Paul Samuelson, Plutocrats, plutocrats, precariat, quantitative easing, randomized controlled trial, rent control, rent-seeking, Sam Altman, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, Stephen Hawking, The Future of Employment, universal basic income, Wolfgang Streeck, women in the workforce, working poor, Y Combinator, Zipcar

Is the EU a threat to democracy? Chris Bickerton is a lecturer in politics at the University of Cambridge and a fellow of Queens’ College, Cambridge. He has taught at the universities of Oxford, Amsterdam and Sciences Po, Paris. One of his previous books, European Integration, was described by Professor Wolfgang Streeck, emeritus director of the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, as “the most innovative contribution to the study of European integration I have seen in decades”. It was awarded the 2013 Best Book prize by the University Association of Contemporary European Studies. THE CALIPHATE Hugh Kennedy What is a caliphate?


pages: 298 words: 89,287

Who Are We—And Should It Matter in the 21st Century? by Gary Younge

affirmative action, Berlin Wall, British Empire, call centre, David Brooks, equal pay for equal work, F. W. de Klerk, failed state, feminist movement, financial independence, glass ceiling, global village, illegal immigration, inflation targeting, invisible hand, liberal capitalism, mass immigration, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral panic, phenotype, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Skype, Steven Levy, upwardly mobile, Wolfgang Streeck, World Values Survey

Just over fifty years later, it is a 27-member-strong political and economic union, boasting a common currency (for most of its inhabitants), a court of human rights and a central bank. “If one wants a shorthand explanation for the renewed momentum of European integration in the mid-1980s,” argue Wolfgang Streeck and Philippe Schmitter in From National Corporatism to Transnational Pluralism, “one would probably account for it as the result of an alignment between two broad interests—that of large European firms struggling to be perceived to have competitive advantages in relation to Japanese and US capital and that of state elites seeking to restore at least part of the political sovereignty they had gradually lost at the national level as a result of growing international interdependence.”


pages: 355 words: 92,571

Capitalism: Money, Morals and Markets by John Plender

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Andrei Shleifer, asset-backed security, bank run, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Black Swan, bond market vigilante , bonus culture, Bretton Woods, business climate, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, computer age, Corn Laws, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of the americas, diversification, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fiat currency, financial innovation, financial intermediation, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, God and Mammon, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Carville said: "I would like to be reincarnated as the bond market. You can intimidate everybody.", James Watt: steam engine, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Meriwether, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, labour market flexibility, liberal capitalism, light touch regulation, London Interbank Offered Rate, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, mass immigration, means of production, Menlo Park, money market fund, moral hazard, moveable type in China, Myron Scholes, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, paradox of thrift, Paul Samuelson, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price stability, principal–agent problem, profit motive, quantitative easing, railway mania, regulatory arbitrage, Richard Thaler, rising living standards, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, spice trade, Steve Jobs, technology bubble, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, the map is not the territory, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, time value of money, too big to fail, tulip mania, Upton Sinclair, Veblen good, We are the 99%, Wolfgang Streeck, zero-sum game

While global inequality is falling because the likes of China and India are growing faster than rich countries, the developed world economy has thus become polarised between a small group of the super-rich and the rest. The laggards enjoyed rising living standards before 2007, despite stagnant real incomes, thanks only to increased borrowing on the security of their homes. The German sociologist Wolfgang Streeck rightly points out that subprime mortgages became a substitute, however illusory in the end, for social policy that was simultaneously being scrapped, as well as for wage increases that were no longer forthcoming at the lower end of a more flexible labour market.212 Since the crisis, however, American and British home owners have faced a long and deep squeeze on real living standards, while struggling to service an unprecedented level of indebtedness.


Undoing the Demos: Neoliberalism's Stealth Revolution by Wendy Brown

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, bitcoin, Branko Milanovic, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, collective bargaining, corporate governance, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, Food sovereignty, haute couture, Herbert Marcuse, immigration reform, income inequality, invisible hand, labor-force participation, late capitalism, means of production, new economy, obamacare, occupational segregation, Philip Mirowski, Ronald Reagan, sexual politics, shareholder value, sharing economy, The Chicago School, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Washington Consensus, Wolfgang Streeck, young professional, zero-sum game

.), Governance without Government: Order and Change in World Politics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992); Simon Hix, “The Study of the European Union II: The ‘New Governance’ Agenda and its Rivals,” Journal of European Public Policy 5.1 (1998), pp. 38–65; Markus Jachtenfuchs, “The Governance Approach to European Integration,” Journal of Common Market Studies 39.2 (2001), pp. 245–64; and Gary Marks, Fritz W. Scharpf, Philippe Schmitter, and Wolfgang Streeck, Governance in the European Union (London: Sage, 1996). 16. Rhodes, Understanding Governance, p. 47. 17. Ibid., especially chapter 3. 18. Philippe Ryfman “Governance and Policies in Nongovernmental Organizations” in Michel Feher (ed.), Nongovernmental Politics (New York: Zone, 2007), p. 289. 19.


pages: 343 words: 91,080

Uberland: How Algorithms Are Rewriting the Rules of Work by Alex Rosenblat

"side hustle", Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, big-box store, call centre, cashless society, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, disinformation, disruptive innovation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Google Chrome, income inequality, independent contractor, information asymmetry, Jaron Lanier, job automation, job satisfaction, Lyft, marginal employment, Mark Zuckerberg, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, performance metric, Peter Thiel, price discrimination, Ralph Waldo Emerson, regulatory arbitrage, ride hailing / ride sharing, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, social software, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, strikebreaker, TaskRabbit, Tim Cook: Apple, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, union organizing, universal basic income, urban planning, Wolfgang Streeck, Yochai Benkler, Zipcar

Walker, “The Uberization of Activism,” New York Times, August 6, 2015, www.nytimes.com/2015/08/07/opinion/the-uber-ization-of-activism.html?mcubz=1. 45. Nikil Saval, “Disrupt the Citizen: Against Ride Sharing,” Portside, July 11, 2017, https://portside.org/2017–07–11/disrupt-citizen-against-ride-sharing. 46. Ibid.; Wolfgang Streenck, “Citizens as Customers,” New Left Review 76 (2012), https://newleftreview.org/II/76/wolfgang-streeck-citizens-as-customers. 47. Jack Weatherford, Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World (New York: Broadway Books, 2014). 48. Tom Slee, What’s Yours Is Mine: Against the Sharing Economy (New York: OR Books, 2016). 49. “Uber, NAACP Create Partnership to Hire Minority Drivers in New Jersey,” December 23, 2015, CBS New York, http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2015/12/23/new-jersey-minority-uber-drivers-naacp/. 50.


pages: 358 words: 104,664

Capital Without Borders by Brooke Harrington

banking crisis, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, British Empire, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, complexity theory, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, diversified portfolio, estate planning, eurozone crisis, family office, financial innovation, ghettoisation, haute couture, high net worth, income inequality, information asymmetry, Joan Didion, job satisfaction, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, liberal capitalism, mega-rich, mobile money, offshore financial centre, race to the bottom, regulatory arbitrage, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, South Sea Bubble, the market place, The Theory of the Leisure Class by Thorstein Veblen, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, upwardly mobile, wealth creators, web of trust, Westphalian system, Wolfgang Streeck, zero-sum game

William Harvey, “Strategies for Conducting Elite Interviews,” Qualitative Research 11 (2011): 431–441. 88. Philip Davies, “Spies as Informants: Triangulation and the Interpretation of Elite Interview Data in the Study of the Intelligence and Security Services,” Politics 21 (2001): 73–80. 89. Max Weber, Economy and Society (New York: Bedminster Press, 1968 [1925]), 1:4. 90. Jens Beckert and Wolfgang Streeck, “Economic Sociology and Political Economy: A Programmatic Perspective,” Working Paper 08/4, 2008, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, Cologne, Germany. 91. Harrington, “The Social Psychology of Access.” See also Brooke Harrington, “Obtrusiveness as Strategy in Ethnographic Research,” Qualitative Sociology 25 (2002): 49–61. 92.


pages: 316 words: 117,228

The Code of Capital: How the Law Creates Wealth and Inequality by Katharina Pistor

"Robert Solow", Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, barriers to entry, Bear Stearns, Bernie Madoff, bilateral investment treaty, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, business cycle, business process, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collateralized debt obligation, colonial rule, conceptual framework, Corn Laws, corporate governance, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, cryptocurrency, Donald Trump, double helix, Edward Glaeser, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, facts on the ground, financial innovation, financial intermediation, fixed income, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, global reserve currency, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, intangible asset, investor state dispute settlement, invisible hand, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, land reform, land tenure, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, means of production, money market fund, moral hazard, offshore financial centre, phenotype, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, price stability, profit maximization, railway mania, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, Ronald Coase, Satoshi Nakamoto, secular stagnation, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, smart contracts, software patent, sovereign wealth fund, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, time value of money, too big to fail, trade route, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs, Wolfgang Streeck

Carol Gluck reviewed my book proposal and urged me to keep my sight on the present and not lose myself in the past, which was a real temptation. Bruce Carruthers, Jean Cohen, Hanoch Dagan, Tsilly Dagan, Horst Eidenmüller, Tom Ginsburg (and his students), Maeve Glass, Martin Hellwig, Jorge Kamine, Cathy Kaplan, Dana Neacsu, Delphine Nougayrède, Casey Quinn, Annelise Riles, Bill Simon, Wolfgang Streeck, Massimiliano Vatiero, and Alice Wang all read and commented on individual chapters or earlier versions of the entire manuscript. The final product is so much the better because of their constructive critiques, and I am most thankful for the time and attention they have given to it. I am also immensely grateful to two anonymous reviewers, who offered their own thoughts and advice on how best to strengthen the book’s arguments and make sure that it lived up to its ambition to reach a broader audience.


pages: 495 words: 138,188

The Great Transformation: The Political and Economic Origins of Our Time by Karl Polanyi

agricultural Revolution, Berlin Wall, borderless world, business cycle, central bank independence, Corn Laws, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Fall of the Berlin Wall, full employment, inflation targeting, joint-stock company, Kula ring, land reform, land tenure, liberal capitalism, manufacturing employment, new economy, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, price mechanism, profit motive, Republic of Letters, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, trade route, trickle-down economics, Washington Consensus, Wolfgang Streeck, working poor, Works Progress Administration

Polanyi inspired a school of thought that flowered in the 1980s and 1990s that has analyzed the “varieties of capitalism,” showing the very significant differences in the ways that markets are embedded in the United States as compared with France, Germany, Japan, and other nations. See Rogers Hollingsworth and Robert Boyer, eds., Contemporary Capitalism: The Embeddedness of Institutions (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997); and Colin Crouch and Wolfgang Streeck, Political Economy of Modern Capitalism: Mapping Convergence and Diversity (Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage, 1997). 21. The idea was first elaborated by Isaac Gervaise and David Hume in the eighteenth century. Frank Fetter, Development of British Monetary Orthodoxy, 1797–1875 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1965), p. 4. 22.


pages: 563 words: 136,190

The Next Shift: The Fall of Industry and the Rise of Health Care in Rust Belt America by Gabriel Winant

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, anti-communist, blue-collar work, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, collective bargaining, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, creative destruction, deindustrialization, desegregation, deskilling, employer provided health coverage, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ford paid five dollars a day, full employment, future of work, ghettoisation, independent contractor, invisible hand, Kitchen Debate, labor-force participation, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, mandatory minimum, manufacturing employment, mass incarceration, MITM: man-in-the-middle, moral hazard, new economy, New Urbanism, obamacare, pink-collar, post-industrial society, post-work, postindustrial economy, price stability, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, the built environment, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, War on Poverty, white flight, Wolfgang Streeck, women in the workforce, working poor

Judith Stein, Pivotal Decade: How the United States Traded Factories for Finance in the Seventies (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2010), 245–247; “A Sad Day for Steel Workers: 25 Years Later, Ex-Foreman Recalls Demise of Blast Furnace,” PPG, June 22, 2004. 19. On this transition, see David Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005); Robert Brenner, The Economics of Global Turbulence (London: Verso, 2006). On stagflation, see Wolfgang Streeck, Buying Time: The Delayed Crisis of Democratic Capitalism, trans. Patrick Camiller (London: Verso, 2014); “Volcker Asserts U.S. Must Trim Living Standard,” New York Times, October 18, 1979. 20. Stein, Pivotal Decade, 276; Federal Open Markets Committee, transcript of conference call, June 5, 1980, p. 10; On steel mill closures, see Hoerr, And the Wolf Finally Came. 21.


pages: 918 words: 257,605

The Age of Surveillance Capitalism by Shoshana Zuboff

algorithmic bias, Amazon Web Services, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blockchain, blue-collar work, book scanning, Broken windows theory, California gold rush, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collective bargaining, Computer Numeric Control, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, corporate personhood, creative destruction, cryptocurrency, disinformation, dogs of the Dow, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, facts on the ground, Ford paid five dollars a day, future of work, game design, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, hive mind, Ian Bogost, impulse control, income inequality, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, job automation, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, linked data, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, means of production, multi-sided market, Naomi Klein, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Occupy movement, off grid, PageRank, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, pattern recognition, Paul Buchheit, performance metric, Philip Mirowski, precision agriculture, price mechanism, profit maximization, profit motive, recommendation engine, refrigerator car, RFID, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Bork, Robert Mercer, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, slashdot, smart cities, Snapchat, social graph, social web, software as a service, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Bannon, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, structural adjustment programs, surveillance capitalism, The Future of Employment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, two-sided market, union organizing, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, winner-take-all economy, Wolfgang Streeck, Yochai Benkler, you are the product

(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013); Erik Olin Wright, Envisioning Real Utopias (London: Verso, 2010); Naomi Klein, This Changes Everything: Capitalism Vs. the Climate (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2015); Wendy Brown, Edgework: Critical Essays on Knowledge and Politics (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005); Davis, Managed by the Markets; Wolfgang Streeck, “On the Dismal Future of Capitalism,” Socio-Economic Review 14, no. 1 (2016): 164–70; Craig Calhoun, “The Future of Capitalism,” Socio-Economic Review 14, no. 1 (2016): 171–76; Polly Toynbee, “Unfettered Capitalism Eats Itself,” Socio-Economic Review 14, no. 1 (2016): 176–79; Amitai Etzioni, “The Next Industrial Revolution Calls for a Different Economic System,” Socio-Economic Review 14, no. 1 (2016): 179–83. 65.