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

The aftershocks of the economic crisis that began in 2008 still rock the world, and have been followed by a crisis in democratic governance. The gravity of the situation is matched by a general paucity of understanding as to precisely what is happening and how it started.

In this new edition of a highly acclaimed book, Wolfgang Streeck revisits his recent arguments in the light of Brexit and the continued crisis of the EU. These developments are only the latest events in the long neoliberal transformation of postwar capitalism that began in the 1970s, a process that turned states away from tax toward debt as a source of revenue, and from that point into the ‘consolidation state’ of today. Central to this analysis is the changing relationship between capitalism and democracy—in Europe and elsewhere—and the advancing immunization of the former against the latter.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781786630711
Publisher: Verso Books
Publication date: 03/21/2017
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 1,217,105
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.70(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Wolfgang Streeck is Director Emeritus at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Cologne. He is a member of the Berlin Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy. His books include Buying Time and How Will Capitalism End?

Table of Contents

Preface to the Second Edition vii

Introduction: Crisis Theory, Then and Now lv

1 From Legitimation Crisis to Fiscal Crisis 1

A new type of crisis 6

Two surprises for crisis theory 10

The other legitimation crisis and the end of the postwar peace 20

The long turn: from postwar capitalism to neoliberalism 26

Buying time 32

2 Neoliberal Reform: From Tax State to Debt Statf 47

Financial crisis: a failure of democracy? 47

Capitalism and democracy in the neoliberal revolution 51

Excursus: capitalism and democracy 55

Starving the beast! 63

The crisis of the tax state 70

From tax state to debt state 72

Debt state and distribution 76

The politics of the debt state 79

Debt politics as international financial diplomacy 90

3 The Politics of the Consolidation State: Neoliberalism in Europe 97

Integration and liberalization 97

The European Union as a liberalization machine 103

Institutional change: from Keynes to Hayek 110

The consolidation state as a European multilevel regime 112

Fiscal consolidation as a remodelling of the state 117

Growth: back to the future 126

Excursus on regional growth programmes 134

On the strategic capacity of the European consolidation state 147

Resistance within the international consolidation state 156

4 Looking Ahead 165

What now? 165

Capitalism or democracy 172

The euro as a frivolous experiment 174

Democracy in Euroland? 177

In praise of devaluation 181

For a European Bretton Woods 185

Gaining time 188

Bibliography 191

Index 211

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