PICT Voices #31: Wolfgang Streeck, The Economy of Buying Time

Podcast by Paris Institute for Critical Thinking, September 6, 2021.

Our thirty-first interview is with Wolfgang Streeck, economic sociologist (Brühl, Germany) by Kristof K.P. Vanhoutte (Basel, Switzerland) Monday, July 12, 2021

PICT Voices is an interview series conducted by PICT faculty with notable members of the broader PICT community. Our goal is to present our community with a variety of voices across the spectrum of the humanities and critical, creative thinking. To achieve this, we will interview a broad spectrum of thinkers ranging from scholars to journalists.

Listen to the entire interview on soundcloud.com

Youtube:

‘Eastern Europe is learning to play its own game inside the EU’

Interview by Justinas Šuliokas, Lietuvos radijas ir televizija / LRT, September 5, 2021.

With the general elections due in Germany next month, observers are talking about the end of the ‘Merkel era’. What has characterised this era and will things change once Angela Merkel is gone?

WS: I think this era was one in which policy became more event-oriented and less strategic than ever before. Her particular skill was to leave aside any long-term ideological and strategic orientations and respond to the challenges of the moment.

If you have a traditional idea of politics, then you call this opportunistic. If you subscribe to a postmodern view of politics, then you call it a particular kind of responsiveness. Namely, to the moods of the voters and the needs for the next coalition that you want to form: moving between the Social Democrats and the Liberals, with an eye to the Greens that you want to co-opt into the government. (…)

Continue reading on lrt.lt

„Es gibt keinen Europäischen Demos“

Interview mit Mladen Gladić, Die Welt, Samstag 31. Juli 2021, Seite 25.

Wolfgang Streek war bis 2014 Direktor am Kölner Max-Planck-Institut für Gesellschaftsforschung. „Zwischen Globalismus und Demokratie“ (Suhrkamp) ist ein Plädoyer für weniger Zentralismus. Ein Gespräch darüber, was stecken geblieben ist und wie es in den Fluß kommen könnte.

DIE LITERARISCHE WELT: Herr Professor Streeck, gerade hatten wir gelernt, dass heute fast alles „neoliberal“ ist: Selbstverwirklichung, Fitness sowieso, vor allem aber Identitätspolitik. Jetzt sagen Sie, das ist schon vorbei.

WOLFGANG STREECK: Der Neoliberalismus, von dem ich spreche, ist eine Bewegung, die in den 30er Jahren entstand, mit Leuten wie Friedrich August Hayek und Ludwig von Mises. Denen ging es darum, die liberale Weltwirtschaft, von der sie sich vorstellten, dass sie 1914 bestanden hätte, wiederherzustellen. Dem standen die nach 1918 aus den Imperien herausgebrochen Nationalstaaten im Weg. Der Neoliberalismus war gleichzeitig ein Anti-Sozialdemokratismus und ein Anti-Nationalismus. Seine Vertreter fürchteten, dass die Sozialdemokratie sich der Nationalstaaten bemächtigt und so den freien Weltmarkt durch protektionistische Eingriffe und Sozialpolitik unterminiert. (…)

Exploitation Isn’t the Only Thing Wrong With Work: An Interview with Ruth Dukes and Wolfgang Streeck

Interview by John-Baptiste Oduor, Jacobin, June 17, 2021.

Many people’s social status and identity are intimately bound up with the jobs they do. That’s not just pernicious capitalist ideology, Ruth Dukes and Wolfgang Streeck argue: it can offer the basis for worker resistance to the power of employers.

In a recent paper, Ruth Dukes and Wolfgang Streeck discuss the now quite arcane concept of industrial citizenship and the changing status of work in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. For many on the Left, concern with the social status accompanying work takes second place to an interest in the exploitation that takes place within the workplace. This dismissal is understandable, given that the social status of work has often been used to justify forms of oppression.

However, earlier this month, Dukes and Streeck spoke with Jacobin’s John-Baptiste Oduor about the complexity, and the political necessity, of defending a vision of the status of work and workers. The authors reflect on several issues important to the Left, including the legacy of left-wing opposition to social democracy and the possibility of combating the low-waged and ostensibly status-free gig economy.

The ideas discussed here emerge out of the authors’ ongoing joint research project on the social and legal norms governing work. Part of this project will take the form of a forthcoming book, Democracy at Work: Contract, Status, and Post-Industrial Justice, from Polity. (…)

Continue reading on jacobinmag.com


Deutsche Version:
Gute Arbeit bedeutet mehr als ein Ende der Ausbeutung

Interview mit John-Baptiste Oduor, übersetzung von Alexander Brentler, Jacobin, 15. Juli 2021.

Die Identität vieler Menschen ist eng mit ihrer Arbeit verbunden. Alles nur kapitalistische Ideologie? Ganz im Gegenteil, argumentieren Ruth Dukes und Wolfgang Streeck: Dieser Stolz bietet die Grundlage für den Widerstand der Arbeitenden gegen die Macht der Arbeitgeber.

In einem kürzlich erschienenen Aufsatz diskutieren Ruth Dukes und Wolfgang Streeck das mittlerweile recht obskure Konzept der industriellen Bürgerrechte (industrial citizenship) und den sich verändernden Status der Arbeit im frühen 21. Jahrhundert. Viele Linke erachten die Sorge um den sozialen Status, der mit dem Arbeitsplatz einhergeht, im Vergleich zur Ausbeutung, die am Arbeitsplatz stattfindet, als zweitrangig. Diese Haltung ist nachvollziehbar, wenn man bedenkt, dass der Verweis auf den sozialen Status der Arbeit oft der Rechtfertigung von Unterdrückung diente. (…)

Weiterlesen auf jacobin.de


Versão em português:
Por uma nova Cidadania do Trabalho

Traduzido por Woordow Hartzog e Evan Selinger, Outras Palavras, 21 de julho de 2021.

Além de superexplorar, neoliberalismo reduziu trabalhadores a “contratados” descartáveis. É hora de voltar a vê-los como sujeitos da produção social – logo, com direitos assegurados pelo Estado. Parte da esquerda hesita a dar este passo

Em um artigo recente, Ruth Dukes e Wolfgang Streeck discutem o conceito, agora bastante obscuro, de cidadania industrial e a mudança do status do trabalho nos séculos XX e XXI. Para muitos na esquerda, a preocupação com o status social que acompanha o trabalho fica em segundo lugar em relação ao interesse pela exploração que ocorre no local de trabalho. Essa subestimação é compreensível, visto que a condição social do trabalho muitas vezes tem sido usada para justificar formas de opressão. (…)

Continue lendo em outraspalavras.net


Türkçe versiyon:
Çalışmakla ilgili tek sorun sömürü değilute

Çeviren Birsen Özge Gökçe, yolculuk, 2 Temmuz 2021.

Dukes ve Streeck Jacobin’den John Baptiste Oduor ile işçilerin ve işin kendisinin sosyal statüsünün savunusunun karmaşıklığına ve siyasal zorunluluğuna dair konuştular

Birçok insanın sosyal statüsü ve kimliği çalıştıkları işler ile sıkı sıkıya bağlı. Bu sadece kapitalist ideolojinin kötücüllüğü değil; Ruth Dukes ve Wolfgang Streeck bunun işverenlerin gücü karşısında bir işçi ayaklanması için zemin oluşturabileceğini savunuyor.

Son yazılarında Ruth Dukes ve Wolfgang Streeck artık ilkel kabul edilen endüstriyel vatandaşlık kavramını ve işin yirmi ve yirmi birinci yüz yıllarda değişen tanımını tartışıyor. Kendini solda tanımlayan çoğu kişi için; işe eşlik eden sosyal statü, iş yerinde gerçekleşen sömürünün kendisine dair endişenin yanında ikinci sırada kalıyor. İşin sosyal durumunun sıklıkla baskı biçimlerini meşrulaştırmak için kullanıldığı göz önünde bulundurulduğunda bu tercih anlaşılabilir. (…)

yolculukhaber.net‚de okumaya devam edin


The EU’s war in Africa

Interview by Jonas Elvander, Brave New Europe, June 15, 2021.

Planned was an interview concerning European military intervention in the Sahel. It turned out to become a very interesting conversation about European defence policy in general, and the ongoing attempts by France to establish a (French-led) European army post Brexit.

Jonas Elvander: You have previously spoken about the role of the French army in European politics, especially about how it is deployed in conflict zones as a kind of ersatz European army in exchange for favours from other member states, especially Germany. Can you explain how this system works?

Wolfgang Streeck: To begin with the fundamentals, since Brexit France is the only EU member country that has nuclear arms and a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council. There can be no doubt that France sees this as a natural entitlement to European leadership on national or “European” security. Here French national interests tend to transform, from a French perspective, into common European interests. More precisely, there is a French national interest in turning French security interests into European ones, in others words, slip in the role of a European hegemonic power. For this France needs Germany, which is by far the strongest economic power in Europe. It also needs to escape from American supremacy over European security policies, by establishing a French-led Europe as an independent world power between the United States and China, more or less equidistant from the two. Here France as  using the EU as a front would claim Northern Africa and large parts of the Middle East as an area of principal interest where it would bear responsibility for what is called „political stability“, the keeping in office of friendly governments that would listen to France when it comes to access to their raw materials or for military alliances and interventions. (…)

Continue reading on braveneweurope.com

Arm, alt, ausländische Wurzeln

Interview mit Monika Nellessen, Allgemeine Zeitung Mainz, 13. März 2021, Seite 3.

Der Soziologe Wolfgang Streeck sagt, warum die Corona-Risiken ungleich verteilt sind und warum er findet, dass ein weiterer Lockdown nichts bringt.

KÖLN/MAINZ. Wenn es um die Pandemiebekämpfung geht, kommen meist Virologen und Mediziner zu Wort. Soziologen, die von Politikern ansonsten gerne übers Wahlvolk ausgefragt werden, finden in den Expertenrunden bislang wenig Gehör. Das führt zu mehreren Fehlschlüssen in der Anti-Corona-Strategie, meint Wolfgang Streeck, der bis zu seiner Emeritierung das Max-Planck-Institut für Gesellschaftsforschung in Köln leitete.

Herr Prof. Streeck, gibt es eine unbequeme Wahrheit, die lautet: Alte, Arme und Menschen mit ausländischen Wurzeln haben das höchste Risiko, an Corona zu erkranken?

Das ist wohl wahr, und unbequem ist es auch. (…)

Weiterlesen [PDF]

“I definitely prefer a cooperative over an empire”

Interview by Noémi Lehoczki, LeftEast, February 11, 2021.

NL: For many Hungarians Germany is a socioeconomic and political model to aspire to. In the current structure of the European Union, however, could the German model even be transposed into the context of the European periphery?

WS: Generally speaking, one should be highly suspicious of the idea that national systems can be transplanted to other countries. Each country has to find its own way to peace and prosperity. This applies in particular in the present case. Germany, highly industrialized and export-dependent, can be and is the growth and prosperity pole of the EU because its currency, the euro, is heavily undervalued, due to it being not just the German currency but also that of the entire Eurozone. While Germany has a huge export surplus, the Eurozone as a whole has an even trade balance. This is an ideal situation for a national economy whose prosperity depends on exports and therefore on a favorable exchange rate. Consider also that the European monetary union makes the markets of the other member countries effectively captive to the German economy: however high the German export surplus with, say, Italy may be, Italy cannot devalue against the German currency as it is also the Italian currency, foreclosing this path towards improving the competitiveness of Italian economy and its firms. (…)

Continue reading on criticatac.ro/lefteast/

Also published on braveneweurope.com

The interviewed first appeared in Hungarian on the left-wing news website merce.hu