Has Capitalism Seen its Day? A Lecture by Wolfgang Streeck at the British Academy


In this lecture Wolfgang Streeck, author of Buying Time: The Delayed Crisis of Democratic Capitalism, asks whether we are facing a systemic crisis of the capitalist social order.

Five years after the Lehman Brothers collapse, the crisis of advanced capitalist economies is far from over. Growth is sluggish, debt continues to rise, and social inequality is exploding. As the capitalist global economy is kept alive by unprecedented infusions of central bank money, old questions of the compatibility of capitalism and democracy are returning. The marketization of Polanyi's three fictitious commodities - labour, nature and money - seems to have hit a limit, and the same may be true for technological innovation. Moreover, persistent public deficits seem to indicate a rising tension between private appropriation and a growing need for collective provision. Professor Streeck interrogates whether we are facing a systemic crisis of the capitalist social order.

Wolfgang Streeck is the director of the Max Planck Institute for Social Research in Cologne and Professor of Sociology at the University of Cologne. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics and a member of the Berlin Brandenburg Academy of Sciences as well as the Academia Europaea.

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