Buying Time

Buying Time:The Delayed Crisis of Democratic Capitalism

  • Paperback

    + free ebook

    Regular price $19.95 Sale price $15.96
    Page redirects on selection
    Add to cart
    20% off
  • Hardback

    + free ebook

  • Ebook

    Regular price $9.99 Sale price $7.99
    Page redirects on selection
    Add to cart
    20% off

New edition of this acclaimed study of the crisis of the EU model and contemporary capitalism

The financial and economic crisis that began in 2008 still has the world on tenterhooks. The gravity of the situation is matched by a general paucity of understanding about what is happening and how it started.

In this book, based on his 2012 Adorno Lectures given in Frankfurt, Wolfgang Streeck places the crisis in the context of the long neoliberal transformation of postwar capitalism that began in the 1970s. He analyses the subsequent tensions and conflicts involving states, governments, voters and capitalist interests, as expressed in inflation, public debt, and rising private indebtedness. Streeck traces the transformation of the tax state into a debt state, and from there into the consolidation state of today. At the centre of the analysis is the changing relationship between capitalism and democracy, in Europe and elsewhere, and the advancing immunization of the former against the latter.

In this new edition, Streeck has added a substantial postface on the reception of the book and the unfolding of the crisis in the Eurozone since 2014.

Reviews

  • For anyone interested in understanding the bind democracies are in, this is a vital if sobering book which has a troubling, if convincing, conclusion.

    Mathew LawrenceProspect
  • Streeck's new book, Buying Time, argues that ever since the 1970s, governments in the west have been 'buying time' for the existing social and political order … a timely corrective.

    Larry ElliottGuardian
  • Is electoral democracy compatible with the type of economic policies the EU—backed at a distance by Washington and Wall Street – wants to impose? This is the question posed by the Cologne-based sociologist Wolfgang Streeck in Buying Time, a book that is provoking debate in Germany. Streeck argues that since Western economic growth rates began falling in the 1970s, it has been increasingly hard for politicians to square the requirements of profitability and electoral success; attempts to do so (‘buying time’) have resulted in public spending deficits and private debt. The crisis has brought the conflict of interests between the financial markets and the popular will to a head: investors drive up bond yields at the ‘risk’ of an election. The outcome in Europe will be either one or the other, capitalist or democratic, Streeck argues; given the balance of forces, the former appears most likely to prevail. Citizens will have nothing at their disposal but words—and cobblestones.

    Susan WatkinsLondon Review of Books