Power and Purpose in Germany’s Eurocrisis Management
This chapter explores how the German political economy was transformed by the global rise of neoliberalism and how this change feeds into Germany’s approach to the eurocrisis. Rather than being pushed down an Anglo-American road, German policymakers still seek to preserve what is left of the domestic compromise between capital and labor. The chapter argues that China’s massive demand for German exports informs the long-term vision of a neoliberal Europe structurally adjusted to support the global position of German manufacturers. At the same time, the perceived threat of US interest rates rising out of step with economic conditions in Europe and emerging markets hardened the German stance on austerity during the fever-pitched policy battles at the height of the eurocrisis. Together, these international pressures and opportunities have produced the predicament of German primacy as a transformative and yet destabilizing force within the EU.
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