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 MPIfG Books

 

 


Wolfgang Streeck
 
Critical Encounters
Capitalism, Democracy, Ideas

 
London: Verso, 2020
224 pages
ISBN 978-1-78873-874-3 | hardback
ISBN 978-1-78873-876-7 | eBook
£10.19

 
Order directly from Verso.
 

 

 

Abstract | Contents | Author


 

 

Abstract


 
From the acclaimed author of How Will Capitalism End? comes an omnibus of long-form critical essays engaging with leading economists and thinkers. Critical Encounters draws on Wolfgang Streeck’s inimitable writing for the London Review of Books and New Left Review, among other publications. It opens with treatments of two contrasting historical eras – factory capitalism and financialization – and three of the world’s major economies: the United States, France and Germany. A middle section surveys the hollowing out of Western democracies and reviews Yanis Varoufakis’s “strange but indispensable” memoir of the eurozone crisis.
 
Delving into the world of ideas, Streeck discusses the work of Quinn Slobodian, Mark Blyth, Jürgen Habermas and Perry Anderson. Finally, he zooms out to compare his home discipline of sociology to natural history, giving a remarkable and non-deterministic reading of Charles Darwin.
 
In the preface, Streeck reflects on the art (or craft) of book reviewing and the continuing merits of the book form. Critical Encounters also includes a series of “Letters from Europe,” penned as the coronavirus descended upon the Continent.
 

 

Contents


 
List of Books under Review
Preface
 
I. Capitalism
1. … the More They Stay the Same
2. The Fourth Power?
3. Chaotic Interregnum
4. Modernizing Class Conflict
5. The German Recipe
 
II. Democracy
6. The Custard and the Wall
7. The Politics of Depoliticization
8. The Magic Word to End All Confusion
9. Neither Forwards Nor Sideways. Perhaps Back?
10. Scenario for a Wonderful Tomorrow
 
III. Ideas
11. Fighting the State
12. Wrong Ideas or Real Interests?
13. You Need a Gun
14. What about Capitalism?
15. Two Worlds, Not One

 
Letters from Europe
 

 

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, How Will Capitalism End? and Critical Encounters.
 
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