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A periodization of European social policy, from attempts to manage the militant labour upsurge of the late 1960s to a supra-national lever for neoliberal restructuring, by way of Maastricht’s Social Protocol. The upshot: a deleterious relocation of social-policy battles from the terrain of welfare-state building to the fields of fiscal policy and immigration.
Against panegyrics to a frictionless, post-national EU polity, evidence from Europe’s multiple borders. Greece as gauge of an emerging order, in which interior and exterior tangle in overlapping jurisdictions and enforcement zones, ultimately dependent on Libyan warlords, Turkish prisons and the mass graves of the Mediterranean.
Conceptions of a revolution from the right in the era of European fascism, and an activist overcoming of conservative dejection at the fate of the West. Political and philosophical imaginings of an alternate capitalist modernity, capable of settling accounts with decadence and Bolshevism.
The Soul of the Eurozone
The character, career and intellectual output of Europe’s most consequential politician, Germany’s Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble—longest-standing member of parliament in his country’s history, superintendent of national reunification and drill-master of continental austerity, obliged to serve in the shadow of a muddle-through mediocrity.
How to assess the latest set-back for the European Union: the vote to leave by its second-largest state? Complex determinants of the Brexit protest—party-political contingencies played out against topographies of class and sub-national disaffection—met by single-minded condemnation of it by the global elite.
Europe’s Other Periphery
The fate of the East European economies in the transition from COMECON to EU. From post-communist slump to the politics of austerity, by way of industrial decline, wage collapses, external debt and buy-outs. The emergence of new dependencies, financial and industrial.
Syriza’s Rise and Fall
Why did the Tsipras government sign up to a third Memorandum, within days of the massive popular rejection of austerity in the July 2015 referendum? Stathis Kouvelakis tracks Syriza’s repositioning since 2012 and its self-imprisonment inside the single-currency regime.
Capitalisms After Communism
A leading Hungarian sociologist revises Weber’s notion of prebendal and patrimonial regimes to classify the new capitalist orders of the former Second World. Are governments from Budapest to Beijing now converging on the same models of politicized economy?
Why the Euro Divides Europe
A landmark critique of Smithian notions of money as neutral medium of exchange, naturalized in social theory from Parsons to Habermas. Arguing instead for Weber’s concept of money as weapon in the market struggle, Wolfgang Streeck reveals how the single currency has transformed Europe’s qualitative horizontal diversity into quantitative vertical inequality.
The Political State of the Union
Debt, deflation and stagnation have now become the familiar economic stigmata of the EU. But what of its political distortions? A survey of the three principal—and steadily worsening—imbalances in the outcome of European integration: the oligarchic cast of its governors, the lop-sided rise of Germany, and the declining autonomy of the Union as a whole in the North Atlantic universe.
The European Vortex
Global economic turmoil has exposed the structural flaws in the single currency. Amid deepening divergences between industrial north and debt-laden south, Michel Aglietta assesses the Eurozone’s chances of recovery, and the impact of its continued travails on the world economy.
Learning from Small Nations
Leading scholar of national questions discusses his personal trajectory and theoretical development, against the backdrop of the Czech experience. Sociological and historical roots of national feeling, and comparative perspectives on their European destinies.
A Lockean Europe?
Liberalization and its discontents seen in the longue durée—the struggle of late-coming statist contenders against an Anglophone heartland, now subsuming Europe in its Lockean embrace. Kees van der Pijl tracks the removal of macro-economic questions from democratic decision-making as central precondition for the EU’s neoliberal turn.
From Buddenbrooks to Babbitt?
Donald Sassoon on Victoria de Grazia, Irresistible Empire: America’s Advance Through 20th-Century Europe. How the US reshaped European ideals of consumption and culture, from the stately world of Thomas Mann to that of McDonald’s and José Bové. All the way from the club to the kitchen, learning from Duluth and San Bernardino.
Capital and Social Europe
What positive programme can the Left propose for a ‘social Europe’, against the Anglo-Saxon model? Robin Blackburn outlines first steps towards a new financial regime aimed at boosting resources for sustainable health and retirement provision, with a share levy on corporations, redistributed across the continent.
Letter from America
Why does a malcontent Europe not simply sue for union with the global hegemon, discarding its wisps of independence to exchange proud membership of the American Empire for today’s sullen servility? A jeu d’esprit from the 18th century in the caustic spirit of S*** and V***.
The 'Progressive' Restoration
A Franco-German exchange between novelist and sociologist on the success of neoliberalism in transforming political regression into the standard of social progress; and the fate of the Enlightenment in the two leading cultures of the European Union.
Why Europe Needs a Constitution
Germany’s leading philosopher argues that further development of the European Union requires both a mobilizing political project—positively differentiating the Old World from the New—and a formal Constitution, submitted to a popular referendum.
Can stakeholder variants of capitalism in east Asia or Europe resist the rise to global dominance of Anglo-American shareholder value? John Grahl argues that ‘exit’ trumps ‘voice’—disembedded forms of corporate finance are inherently more capable of spreading uniformly round the world than embedded ones, which remain particular to local settings. The misfortunes of the euro as a portent of US pressures to come.
Europa and Utopia: How Cultural History Deals with the Paradox of Modernity
In the light of Luisa Passerini’s new book on the cultural and political discourse on Europe in Britain in the 1930s, it is tempting to draw a number of parallels between that decade and our own. The inter-war years, Passerini shows, were a period of much speculation and . . . read more
A Sense of the Left
Norberto Bobbio’s book on the Right and Left marks a significant moment in the author’s long and distinguished career as a political thinker. Published during the Italian electoral campaign of 1994, Destra e Sinistrais one of his most topical and personal writings, whose popular success in Italy is . . . read more
The Question of Eurocentricism: A Comment on Immanuel Wallerstein
In his critique of Eurocentrism, Immanuel Wallerstein has provided a useful discussion of a major issue for contemporary left politics and critical social science. By contrast with the higher-profile subject of ‘multi-culturalism’, to which it is of course related, the Eurocentrism question has received less considered debate. Wallerstein’s . . . read more
Questioning Eurocentricism: A Reply to Gregor McLennan
Gregor McLennan says he is replying to my article on ‘Eurocentrism and its Avatars’. It seems to me what he is doing is taking off from my article to criticize ‘post-colonial theorists’, who are also characterized as ‘maximal anti-Eurocentrics’. The justification seems to be that ‘in places Wallerstein . . . read more
Unemployed Europe and the Struggle for Alternatives
On 19 January, Tony Blair gave an interview to the European newspaper. He made plain his belief that ‘not just socialism but social democracy as practised in most of Europe is past its sell-by date’. The reason for this judgement is said to be that social democracy has . . . read more
Sterilization and Propaganda
Late in August this year, a message was widely broadcast by the international media. Filing their reports out of Stockholm, journalists from around the world presented their readers and viewers with the news that between 1934 and 1976, tens of thousands of people—more than 90 per cent of . . . read more
The Theory of Post-Communist Managerialism
The most distinctive characteristic of post-communist social structure in East Central Europe is the absence of a capitalist class. Private property rights are in place, markets in labour and capital exist, these economies are open to world markets, and they have strong relationships with international financial institutions. However, . . . read more
Bosnia and the Revival of US Hegemony
The primary concern of us policy-makers, Democrats and Republicans, since the Second World War has been ‘world leadership’. Where necessary and possible domestic issues have been subordinated to the overarching goal of constructing and sustaining us hegemony over allies, confrontation with adversaries and domination of clients. . . . read more
The Left’s Advance in Italy
The Left’s victory in the Italian general election on the 21 April is likely to have a large impact on popular consciousness. It has revived a sense of collective hope and once more made concrete that fading but never totally obliterated belief that change is possible. This is . . . read more
Eastern Reformers and Neo-Marxist Reviewers
Peter Gowan has written an ambitious article. In it, he aims to show that the Group of Seven major industrial states (g7) and the international financial institutions (ifis) have, with a good deal of success, sought to impose at least an economic imperialism over the post-communist . . . read more
Fundamental Values for a Third Left
Since 1988 I have been engaged in the launching of a new party of the Left in Finland. It was established in 1990 under the name of Vasemmistoliitto/ Vänsterförbundet (the Left-Wing Alliance). lwa continued the tradition of skdl/dfff (the People’s Democratic League) which included the Communist . . . read more
Approaching Reality: Euro-Money and the Left
What has happened to the once relatively democratic and humane national governments of Western Europe that they now contemplate the harshness in present circumstances of monetary union? Why is France, a society as socially unjust as Britain and with an ever higher unemployment rate contemplating putting yet more . . . read more
Eastern Europe, Western Power and Neo-Liberalism
John Lloyd’s article is helpful, above all, in revealing more fully his forms of thought. He appears to think my article was a piece of Marxist economics. Unfortunately it was entirely pre-theoretical: an attempt to introduce the claims of neo-liberals like Lloyd to some pertinent facts, with the . . . read more
Neo-Liberal Reform and Popular Rebellion
Tenacious and combative strikes in the public services, millions of demonstrators on the streets, broad support from public opinion: last December’s events in France were a lot more than a strike, indeed it is no exaggeration to call them an uprising by the working, producing, caring, teaching population. . . . read more
Neo-Liberal Theory and Practice for Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe’s market for policy ideas, suddenly opened in 1989, was swiftly captured by an Anglo-American product with a liberal brand name. This policy equivalent of fast food erected barriers to other new entrants and established a virtual monopoly on advice in most target states in the region. . . . read more
The Crisis of Government in Italy
In the last few years Italy has undergone an unusually profound and open political crisis, which is still very far from having settled down into a largely accepted, or even moderately viable, political arrangement. The crisis had been building for a long time, but broke—this is the conventional . . . read more
Social Democracy and Full Employment
‘The voters, now convinced that full employment, generous welfare services and social stability can quite well be preserved, will certainly not relinquish them. Any Government which tampered seriously with the basic structure 0f the full-employment Welfare State would meet with a sharp reverse at the polls’ (Antony Crosland,1956). . . . read more
The double celebration of 1992, Maastricht and Columbus, spawned a double debate, each prolonged way beyond its intrinsic interest by media attention and its acolyte, academic scrutiny: it may be years before any of us will be able to read with enthusiasm another book or article on either . . . read more
The New Politics of the Irish Republic
In the last two years, a series of events has occurred which, taken together, seemed to signify developments of such importance that even those observers of Irish politics most prone to relish or lament its apparent barren continuities have begun to contemplate the possibility of a radical opening . . . read more
Nationalism and the Left in Germany
A new/old spectre is haunting Europe—the spectre of nationalism. Everyone underestimated its force and potential before 1989, and in the post-Cold War world, almost everyone is struggling to come to terms with it. There is a long history of the Left, in Germany in particular, being accused of . . . read more
The Return of the Great Powers
On the surface, the situation in the Balkans may look rather optimistic at the moment: the Croats and Muslims have ceased fighting; some sense of normality has been restored to Sarajevo; and the crisis around Gorazde has been defused. In a broader context of European security, however, it . . . read more
European Cities, the Informational Society, and the Global Economy
An old axiom in urban sociology considers space as a reflection of society. Yet life, and cities, are always too complex to be captured in axioms. Thus the close relationship between space and society, between cities and history, is more a matter of expression than of reflection. The . . . read more
The Modern Women’s Movement in Italy
Modern Italian feminism established itself in the early 1970s, expanding with remarkable strength and radicalism from its middle-class base to become a popular mobilization with an extensive network of activists throughout the organized labour movement. By the end of the decade, however, feminism was in decline; and the . . . read more
Reinventing Federalism: Europe and the Left
Europeans have lived for so long in the warm cocoon of the Community system that we have almost forgotten what our history was like before the astonishing burst of institutional inventiveness that culminated in the Rome Treaty a generation ago. If present trends are allowed to continue we . . . read more
Western Europe’s Economic Stagnation
At the beginning of the 1990s, Western Europe is clearly facing more acute economic problems than are the other major countries of the oecd area. Both the United States and Japan seem to be hesitantly recovering in 1993 from their earlier, and relatively modest, slowdowns. Europe, on . . . read more
The Rise of Masculinism in Eastern Europe
In the recent literature on gender relations in Eastern Europe, it is quite often said that democratization has ‘opened up a space’ within which women can now seek to identify their interests and organize. That is undoubtedly the case. At the same time, however, as offering a space . . . read more
Taking Women’s Work for Granted
Lucio Magri’s article on the European Left, in nlr 189, presents an unusually positive and encouraging perspective for radical politics in the coming years, discussing with welcome realism the most disastrous aspects of recent history. It is a valuable aid in what for some of us is . . . read more
The Danish No to Maastricht
June 2nd 1992 was a remarkable day in the history of Denmark, and perhaps in the history of post-World War II Europe. In a referendum a majority of Danes rejected the Treaty of Maastricht, which a few months earlier had so laboriously been knit together by the read more
Confronting the New Europe
The Maastricht Summit of December 1991 displayed a European Community poised to assume a central role in the first decades of the twenty-first century. There is, nonetheless, great uncertainty about the deeper logic of the process of Europeanization that is upon us. What kinds of new economic regulation . . . read more
Nationalism and Politics in Eastern Europe: A Response to Gellner
‘Nationalism’ is a much-abused concept that can be used to explain everything—hence, nothing at all. Unless rooted in concrete analysis of the national and class politics of a given state or area, it runs the risk of becoming analytically vacuous. Ernest Gellner’s work has long been distinguished by . . . read more
The European Left Between Crisis and Refoundation
Today we cannot understand anything of Europe, the European Left or any other problem in the world unless we start out, in a spirit of truth, from the epochal shift of the last few years that has resulted in the political, ideological and economic collapse of the Communist . . . read more
Es Gibt Keinen Staat in Europa: Racism and Politics in Europe Today
I would like to start by explaining how I came to modify the agreed theme and, to some extent, focus of this contribution. There were some general reasons for doing so, which occurred to me as I was reading the Congress programme, but recent political events provided a . . . read more
What Does Socialism Mean Today? The Rectifying Revolution and the Need for New Thinking on the Left
There has recently been a spate of articles about the end of the socialist illusion, about the failure of an idea, and even about West European or German intellectuals finally coming to terms with the past. In them, rhetorical questions always prepare the way for the refrain that . . . read more
Eastern Europe’s Republics of Gilead
Why is the West so fascinated by the recent events in Eastern Europe? The answer seems obvious: what fascinates the Western gaze is the re-invention of democracy. It is as if democracy, which in the West shows increasing signs of decay and crisis, lost in bureaucratic routine and . . . read more
Western Economic Diplomacy and the New Eastern Europe
Hobbes once remarked that if you are forced at gunpoint to go through a door, you are still free to go through it: you can be forced and be free. For most of us today this is a perversity that smacks of Stalinism. But what if someone throws . . . read more
Beyond 1992: The Left and Europe
The wave of publicity in preparation for the broad internal market of 1992 has struck a powerful chord throughout Western Europe, including in a traditionally introverted country such as Britain where opinion polls suggest that large sections of the population are considerably more enthusiastic than their government about . . . read more
The Cost of Neo-Liberal Europe
Throughout the present decade, neo-liberal economic strategies—interacting with intense competitive pressures on world markets—have sought to remodel the capitalisms of Western Europe. In the context of mass unemployment the drive towards a renewed subordination of workforces has found unity and direction in the demand for labour flexibility, while . . . read more
The Tragedy of the French Left
In 1981 the French Left came to power for the first time in decades. Here was a Left which had never made peace with the consumer capitalism of the postwar period. The Communists, lesser partners in the new governing coalition, remained committed to the socialist transformation of France. . . . read more
Labour in the Great City
The giant city was a new phenomenon in Western capitalism, and a type of human settlement virtually unprecedented in the non-oriental world before the eighteenth century: that is to say, the city whose population was measured in several hundreds of thousands, and very soon in millions. Until the . . . read more
The PCI and the Historic Compromise
Few on the left will disagree with the view that the turn taken by events in Italy in recent years is deeply depressing. Capitalism is unquestionably more stable today than at any time since the boom years of the late 1950s, and the social and cultural upheavals of . . . read more
A Reply to Gundle
In Italy history repeats itself: a general election has been called one year early to avoid a referendum whose result might shake the political and economic establishment represented by the dc, iri and Confindustria. In 1987 nuclear power has taken on the importance of divorce in . . . read more
After the West German Elections
The political earthquake once widely predicted for the West German federal elections failed to take place on 25 January 1987. Six months earlier, in the aftermath of Chernobyl, the centre–right coalition had barely managed to scrape home in the Lower Saxony elections, just thirty thousand votes ahead of . . . read more
The PCI Congress
The 17th Congress of the Italian Communist Party was held in Florence between 9 and 13 April, in the midst of Reagan’s first round of sabre-rattling against Libya and his authorization of a new nuclear test in Nevada. Since, as we shall see, the main peculiarity of the . . . read more
Eco-Socialist Transition on the Threshold of the 21st Century
It has become difficult to speak about socialism without some words of explanation. What are we talking about? How are we to justify our theses? I take it as an established result of much theoretical debate that socialism is not a state of affairs (that is, neither a . . . read more
International Communism in the Heyday of Stalin
Serious scholarship on the history of Communist Parties has been experiencing a major upswing. Literature was never exactly in short supply. But its value was invariably vitiated by the ingenuousness of its bias, in which the official apologetics of the Communist Parties’ own accounts was matched by the . . . read more