Wirtschaftswoche Online, 11. März 2016
Herr Streeck, bei unserem letzten Interview sprachen wir über die Schuldenkrise und das bevorstehende Ende des Kapitalismus als soziale Ordnung. Das war vor der so genannten Flüchtlingskrise. Gibt es da einen ursächlichen Zusammenhang?
Nicht unmittelbar. Aber der allgemeine Zusammenhang ist die Erschöpfung des kapitalistischen Wachstumsmodells mitsamt den dadurch ausgelösten globalen Verwerfungen. In Deutschland zeigt sich diese Erschöpfung noch nicht, aber im gesamten Mittelmeerraum, den Vereinigten Staaten und dem Krisenbogen von Westafrika über die arabischen Länder bis nach Pakistan, Teile von Indien, in anderer Form auch Japan. Daran ändern auch die verzweifelten Bemühungen der Zentralbanken nichts, die Inflation und das Wachstum anzutreiben. Es bewegt sich nichts. Das Geld, das in Europa, Japan und den USA neu geschaffen wird, bleibt oben hängen, im Finanzsektor. Wie die Amerikaner sich fühlen, kann man daran sehen, wen sie in den Vorwahlen wählen. (Weiterlesen auf wiwo.de)
Jacobin online, February 25, 2016
Interview with Jonah Birch and George Souvlis
You’ve argued in recent years that the trajectory of “democratic capitalism” in Europe has increasingly been in the direction of a social and economic model that prioritizes the imperatives of the market and of business profitability over the requirements of democratic equality and social solidarity. Can you talk a little about how that process has unfolded, and how the eurozone crisis that broke out after 2008 fits into this picture?
Democracy under capitalism is democracy to the extent that it corrects the outcomes of markets in an egalitarian direction. Economic liberalization disconnects democracy from the economy — makes it run dry, as it were. The result is what is called post-democracy: democratic politics as a mass spectacle, as part of the entertainment industry. One way democracy is decoupled from the economy is by a transfer of economic policy out of the hands of national parliaments and governments to “independent” institutions such as central banks, summit meetings like the European Council, and international organizations such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The euro, as instituted by the Maastricht Treaty, has in this way de-democratized (although by no means depoliticized) monetary and economic policy-making in its member states. Substantively, it has imposed a hard-currency policy on the whole of Euroland, one under which some countries, like Germany, can prosper while many others cannot. Weiterlesen
Interview appeared at Near Futures Online, Issue No. 1, March 2016
Interview for Liberal Culture, January 12, 2016. Polish version here.
Has Chancellor Merkel made a mistake when she opened the door for migrants without first consulting it with other European countries? Can this decision cost her the role of the European leader?
Like all other European leaders Merkel thinks first and foremost about her own domestic politics. Most of the migrants that had become stuck in the central station of Budapest wanted to go to Germany. The German public had been outraged about the French and the British leaving thousands of migrants stranded in Calais, at the entrance of the Channel tunnel. After Merkel had invited the Budapest migrants to Germany, perhaps also to clear the way for a coalition with the Greens in two years, it turned out there were millions more that wanted to come. At this point the German government began to look for a “European solution”. No European government consults with other European governments when it sees its own vital political interests at stake. Weiterlesen
Appeared in ROAR Magazine, December 23, 2015
Professor Streeck, to begin with, could you briefly explain why you believe that capitalism and democracy are in conflict with one another? Is this tension an inherent one, or do you consider it to be a more recent phenomenon?
Democracy: one person, one vote; capitalism: one dollar, one vote. The order of equality vs. the order of egoism (John Dunn). Capitalists as a permanent minority in a majoritarian democratic polity — and democracy ending “at the factory gates”. Social justice vs. the justice of markets. It’s an old story with unending permutations, discussed again and again since the nineteenth century, by legions of scholars and political leaders. Weiterlesen
ASA Economic Sociology Section Newsletter, Fall 2015, pp. 10-16
A perennial question in economic sociology is the relationship between the state and economy, which most economic sociologists conceptualize as co-constitutive. How would you characterize your own take on the relationship between the state and economy, and states and markets? What are some unexplored questions or problems we should be discussing/studying? Where should future research turn?
Wolfgang Streeck: I prefer to speak of either “the state and the market” or “the state and capitalism”. “The market” is shorthand for a mode of governance (free contracts at prices set by supply and demand) while “capitalism” refers to a particular power structure in society (private ownership of the means of production, private accumulation of capital). ”The state and the market” refers to the multifaceted relationship between two modes of allocation (distribution), whereas “the state and capitalism” refers to the equally multifaceted relationship between two different kinds of power (political and economic), or between citizenship and property rights, etc. (…)
Interview for L’Espresso, July 7, 2015. English translation published on Verso Books Blog.