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A triumph of failed ideas: European models of capitalism in the crisis

Steffen Lehndorff (Senior Researcher at the Working Time and Work Organisation Department at IAQ, University of Duisburg-Essen)

Publication date : 2012

Number of pages : 284

Edited by :

Steffen Lehndorff (Senior Researcher at the Working Time and Work Organisation Department at IAQ, University of Duisburg-Essen)

The current crisis in Europe is being labelled, in mainstream media and politics, as a ‘public debt crisis’. The present book draws a markedly different picture. What is happening now is rooted, in a variety of different ways, in the destabilisation of national models of capitalism due to the predominance of neoliberalism since the demise of the post-war ‘golden age’. Ten country analyses provide insights into national ways of coping – or failing to cope – with the ongoing crisis. They reveal the extent to which the respective socio-economic development models are unsustainable, either for the country in question, or for other countries.

The bottom-line of the book is twofold. First, there will be no European reform agenda at all unless each country does its own homework. Second, and equally urgent, is a new European reform agenda without which alternative approaches in individual countries will inevitably be suffocated. This message, delivered by the country chapters, is underscored by more general chapters on the prospects of trade union policy in Europe and on current austerity policies and how they interact with the new approaches to economic governance at the EU level. These insights are aimed at providing a better understanding across borders at a time when European rhetoric is being used as a smokescreen for national egoism.

The book has also been published in German by VSA Verlag, please find here more information.

Read also the interview with Steffen Lehndorff in Belgian newspaper Le Soir (20-21 October): "Méfiez-vous du modèle allemand!"

ETUI, Brussels, ISBN 978-2-87452-246-8

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