Critical Encounters Capitalism, Democracy, Ideas
From the acclaimed author of How Will Capitalism End? comes an omnibus of critical engagements 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 outlets, and includes pieces originally published in the German press, translated into English for the first time. It opens with a survey of three of the world’s major economies the US, France, Germany and two contrasting historical eras, factory capitalism and financialization. A middle section considers the hollowing out of Western democracies, with a review of Yanis Varoufakis’s memoirs of the Eurozone crisis.
Streeck then delves into the world of ideas, discussing Perry Anderson’s The H-Word and J rgen Habermas’s The Lure of Technocracy. Finally he zooms out to compare his home discipline of sociology against natural history, giving a remarkable and non-deterministic reading of Charles Darwin.
In the Introduction, Streeck reflects on the art (or craft) of book reviewing and the continuing merits of the book form. The book also includes a coda on Brexit and the future of Europe.