• Editorial

  • Three major events prompted us eventually to modify the focus of the long-planned third issue of our journal dedicated to the “European Social Model”. One of these is the global financial crisis, which not only affects the financial markets and cannot even fully be characterised by its coincidence with the emerging global recession. In his contribution, Joachim Bischoff sums up the explosiveness of the economic crisis thus, “It can no longer be denied that unfettered capitalism has discredited itself through its inherent logic”. The left will no doubt be intensively involved in the ramifications of this change in the near future. In November transform! europe and several of its partner...
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  • Capitalism's Crisis of the Century
  • Por Joachim Bischoff
  • There is still no end in sight to the global financial crisis that has been raging for over a year. The potential for crisis will continue to preoccupy financial markets and investors until well into 2009 and hover over the stock markets like the sword of Damocles. The capitalist world system is being shaken by the most severe turbulence in the financial system since the world economic crisis of 1929.  

Focus: European Social Models

  • The Scandinavian Model and the Labour Market
  • Por Yann Le Lann
  • The Scandinavian countries play a key role in the European social harmonisation process. Within the social representation at the European level, there is a sort of informal division of labour, with Denmark serving as the point of reference in terms of employment and Sweden as the model for consideration of different retirement systems. Why are European institutions so infatuated with the development of the Scandinavian model?

  • What Can be Learned from the Nordic Model?
  • Por Asbjørn Wahl
  • The Nordic Model, or the welfare state, which developed in a very specific historic context. It can therefore not be assessed independently from its social and historical origin and the power relations which made it possible.  

  • The Dualities of the Swedish Welfare Model
  • Por Daniel Ankerloo
  • Framing the Problem: Viability vs. Effect In the prevailing political and scientific discussion on welfare states in general and the Swedish welfare model in particular, the focus is on the question of the viability of the different welfare models (in light of demographic changes, globalisation, multiculturalism, citizenship etc.). By contrast, I believe that the basic question is not whether the Swedish model is viable – but whether it works.

  • Having your Cake and Eating It
  • Por Lutz Brangsch
  • The EU’s Open Method of Coordination (OMC) seems to exist in a world of its own, outside of the real social welfare debate. Proven ineffectiveness in its core area – combating poverty – is combined with an apparently naïve faith in the power of consensus and the need to set a good example. 

  • The Welfare State, The European Union And The Future
  • Por Erik Meijer
  • People are not equal, but all people need to be accorded equal value. And it is just this equal value that is permanently in danger, not only for traditional reasons like natural disasters, wars and slavery, but also as a result of a colonial history, geographic differences and, last but not least, today’s free market.

  • General Intellect: The Left and the new Workforce
  • Capitalism transforms itself in order to control crises and instability and in order to secure the functioning of market mechanisms, and these transformations involve all functions of society, institutions, property, work and the different forms of wealth.  

  • Building Class Consciousness
  • Por Christine Mendelsohn
  • The struggle of the workers at the Renault Dacia plant in Rumania has clarified how competition between wage-earners in the Eastern and Western parts of the European Union works. Their resistance to...

  • Fighting Plant Closures
  • Por Wolfgang Menz , Sarah Nies , Dieter Sauer , Richard Detje
  • The crisis on the international financial markets has had a powerful impact on the real economy. The explosive nature of the situation is produced by two crises coming together and to a certain extent reinforcing each other: asset losses, indebtedness and the credit crunch on one side, and faltering accumulation processes in the economic downturn on the other.  


European Social Forum


  • Towards an Institut Européen du Salariat
  • Goal of the Institute For lack of a better translation, we will refer to “wage-earning” in the rest of this presentation. The “Institut Européen du Salariat” (IES) promotes research on “salariat,” a French term that comes from the word for “salary” or “wage.” “Salariat” designates both the status of wage earner and wage earners as a group. 

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