MaxPo at 10: Closing Remarks

Round Table at MaxPo Anniversary and Closing Conference, Paris, October 21, 2022.

The Max Planck Sciences Po Center on Coping with Instability in Market Societies (MaxPo) looks back on ten successful years advancing discourse and building international networks in the social sciences.

A conference which took place in Paris on October 21, 2022, marked both the anniversary and the conclusion of the joint research endeavour that brought together the Max Planck Society and its Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Cologne with Sciences Po in Paris and reflected the insights gathered on each of these topics over the last ten years.

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Politics Today: Interview with Wolfgang Streeck

In: Crisis and Critique 9 (2022) 2, 427-431.

Interview by Frank Ruda and Agon Hamza

1) We cannot not begin with the ongoing war in Ukraine. It appears on some level to be very difficult to assess or analyze such a situation, which is not only heated but also still intensely developing. In addition, none of us is a military analyst. But we nevertheless want to start with a rather huge question: What should we expect from this war?

However the war ends, or more likely: drags on, it will result in a resurrection under American leadership of what is called “the West”, with Western Europe closely tied to the United States, and NATO rather than the European Union as the dominant international organization for Western Europe. For a long time, there will be no rapprochement between Western Europe and Russia, therefore no French-led third-party role for Europe in the evolving post-neoliberal global system. Russia will be allied with China, Europe with the United States, both blocs getting ready to battle over global dominance or, alternatively, the structure of a bipolar world order. NATO will be the European arm of the United States, the EU the bridgehead of the United States on the other side of the Atlantic.

Letter from Europe: Getting Closer

Sidecar, November 7, 2022.

On 17 October, Bundeskanzler Olaf Scholz invoked his constitutional privilege under Article 65 of the Grundgesetz to ‘determine the guidelines’ of his government’s policy. Chancellors do this rarely, if at all; the political wisdom is three strikes and you’re out. At stake was the lifespan of Germany’s last three nuclear power plants. As a result of Merkel’s post-Fukushima turn, intended to pull the Greens into a coalition with her party, these are scheduled by law to go out of service by the end of 2022. Afraid of nuclear accidents and nuclear waste, and also of their well-to-do middle-class voters, the Greens, now governing together with SPD and FDP, refused to give up their trophy. (…)

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Deutsche Version:
Es kommt näher

Makroskop, 2. November 2022.

Warum der drohende Atomkrieg, Paragraf 130 und der erweiterte Amerikanismus Teil einer größeren Geschichte sind. (…)

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Versión española:
Cada vez más próximos, cada vez más cerca de la catástrofe

El Salto, 5 de noviembre 2022.

En la Alemania actual, cualquier intento de situar la guerra ucraniana en el contexto de la reorganización del sistema de Estados global tras la desaparición la Unión Soviética y del proyecto estadounidense de “Nuevo Orden Mundial” relacionado con la misma resulta sospechoso.

El 17 de octubre, el Bundeskanzler Olaf Scholz se acogió a su privilegio constitucional contemplado en Artículo 65 de la Grundgesetz [Constitución alemana] para «determinar las directrices» de la política de su gobierno. Los cancilleres o cancilleras alemanes rara vez recurren a tal Artículo, si es que alguna vez lo hacen, dado que la sabiduría política indica que si lo invocan en tres ocasiones, están fuera. (…)

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Podcast: Zeitenwende? (German foreign policy, with Wolfgang Streeck)

Spaßbremse, October 11, 2022.

Ted talks with economic sociologist Wolfgang Streeck, emeritus director at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Cologne and one of the leading scholars and commentators on European capitalism. In this exciting conversation, they discuss Germany’s foreign policy role in Europe at this moment of the so-called „Zeitenwende.“

Co-hosted by Ted (@ted_knudsen) and Michelle (@shhellgames). Produced by Isaac (@wuermann).

Podcast [link]

Wolfgang Streeck: Europe is Being Subjugated to US Power

Interview by Chris Bambery, Conter, September 30, 2022.

The economic crisis in Britian, the war in Ukraine, and the disorder in the Eurozone are all intimately connected. Chris Bambery spoke to Wolfgang Streeck, an economic sociologist at the University of Cologne and a leading commentator on European capitalism, about the crisis in the EU and the implications for Scotland.

Chris Bambery: Once again we seem to be seeing a renewed debt crisis emerging in the EU with Portugal, Italy and Spain paying higher interest on its state debt than Germany and its satellites? How serious is this and how uneven is the EU today?

Wolfgang Streeck: It is getting more uneven by the day. Economic convergence has been promised but was never delivered. Instead divergence between the center, Germany in particular, and the Mediterranean periphery has long been growing. This is a direct consequence of EMU, the EU’s monetary union. Lagging countries may be able to catch up with more competitive countries in a common market by internal devaluation, meaning essentially lower labour costs. But this has never been successful without being flanked by external devaluation, adjusting a country’s international terms of exchange to its real productivity. (…)

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Not Quite Enough: How the Pandemic Failed to Save Europe

Review Essay, Society, published online, September 28, 2022.

Luuk van Middelaar’s most recent book on Europe, like his previous work, is serious stuff. Don’t expect your run-of-the-mill “European integration” spiel, liberally funded by the European Commission, dealing with issues like How-the-Commission-constructed-a-Treaty-base-where-there-is-none; or the encouraging results of the latest “European Semester” and what additional data Croatia must supply next time for even more economic stability and convergence to ensue; or why monetary union requires fiscal union to deliver its full benefits; and how the Treaties must be rewritten to consummate the unity of Europe by allowing for the magic of neo-functionalist spillover. None of the usual obsession here with the design and implementation of “programs”, their odds and ends and how they grow out of the infighting between the Commission’s General Directorates, the EU’s various supranational would-be authorities and its member states — all of this on the assumption that “integration” must ultimately move forward as foreseen by “integration theory”. (…)

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