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Germany's Hidden Crisis: Social Decline in the Heart of Europe

Oliver Nachtwey David Fernbach Loren Balhorn



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Verso Books
04 February 2019
Social forecasting, future studies; Politics & government; Political science & theory; Political structure & processes; Economic forecasting
One of the German-speaking world's leading young sociologists lays out modern Germany's social and political crisis and its implications for the future of the European hegemon. Upward social mobility represented a core promise of life under the old West German welfare state, in which millions of skilled workers upgraded their VWs to Audis, bought their first homes, and sent their children to university. Not so in today's Federal Republic, however, where the gears of the so-called elevator society have long since ground to a halt. In the absence of the social mobility of yesterday, widespread social exhaustion and anxiety have emerged across mainstream society. Oliver Nachtwey analyses the reasons for this social rupture in post-war German society and investigates the conflict potential emerging as a result, concluding that although the country has managed to muddle through the Eurocrisis largely unscathed thus far, simmering tensions beneath the surface nevertheless threaten to undermine the German system's stability in the years to come.

Nachtwey's book was recipient of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation's 2016 Hans-Matthofer-Preis for Economic Writing.
By:   Oliver Nachtwey
Translated by:   David Fernbach, Loren Balhorn
Imprint:   Verso Books
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 210mm,  Width: 140mm, 
ISBN:   9781786636348
ISBN 10:   1786636344
Pages:   256
Publication Date:   04 February 2019
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Oliver Nachtwey is Associate Professor of Social Structure Analysis at the University of Basel, and a fellow at the Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt. His research interests include labour and industrial sociology, political sociology, the comparative study of capitalism, and social movements.

Reviews for Germany's Hidden Crisis: Social Decline in the Heart of Europe

An insightful account of the crises threatening German stability. - Morning Star A major critical review of Europe's most important country, its socio-economics, its politics, and its self-diagnoses. - Goeran Therborn A true masterpiece. Focusing on the case of Germany - which has long been mispresented and misperceived as a paragon of economic success and political stability - Oliver Nachtwey offers a detailed account of the crisis of contemporary capitalism. Moving at the forefront of leading theories of political economy, the book develops an empirically grounded synthetic perspective on regressive modernity , a concept of which much can be expected for future progress in the study of capitalist development. - Wolfgang Streeck Nachtwey's book provides a detailed analysis of postwar developments in Germany from a left-wing, working-class, and sociology-based perspective. I can highly recommend it to everyone interested in the past, present, and future of this crucially important country, many of whose problems face other Europeans and people in the United States as well, in particular the danger of some variant of fascism, most alarmingly in case of a repetition of the 2008 crisis-perhaps a far more serious one. - Victor Grossman, Monthly Review

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