Great Crisis of Capitalism - A Second Great Transformation?

The transatlantic financial and economic crisis is regarded as the most severe crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Once more, the future of capitalism appears to be highly uncertain. Are we currently witnessing another transition period or “Great Transformation” as Karl Polanyi analyzed for the period after World War I?

Although both the United States and the EU have succeeded in stabilizing their economies after the crash of 2008, a return of speculation and bubbles, diverging economic development in the Euro Zone, high levels of public debt, economic stagnation, the threat of deflation, and a sharp increase in unemployment and social misery in many countries are among the lasting concerns in the aftermath of the crisis.

These are not even the only challenges globalized capitalism is currently facing: Climate change and the need of a wide range of restructuring and reforms in the energy system in particular, the impact of the next generation of digital technologies on industries, services, and labor markets, demographic changes and (forced) migrations, imperialist rivalry, failing states, uneven developments and increasing inequality, have led to an ongoing debate concerning the multiple crisis of capitalism.

The lecture series aims to promote a discussion of general and specific aspects of contemporary capitalist transformations. It is a joint initiative of Berlin-based scholars from various academic institutions working in diverse areas related to (international) political economy and comparative capitalism.

Upcoming Lectures


Past Lectures
January 23, 2020

Trajectories of Neoliberal Transformations in European Industrial Relations

Lucio Baccaro, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, Cologne

January 10, 2020

Why is International Cooperation Failing? How the Clash of Capitalisms Undermines the Regulation of Finance

Thomas Kalinowski, Ewha Womans University, Seoul, Korea

December 6, 2019

Violence in Classical Liberalism versus Neoliberalism: Punishment, Threats, and Structural Violence

S.M. Amadae, University of Helsinki

December 13, 2018

Kapital im Überfluss? Die politische Ökonomie des Asset-Manager-Kapitalismus

Benjamin Braun, Max-Planck-Institut für Gesellschaftsforschung, Köln

May 23, 2018

Speculative Urbanism and the New Volatility of City Life

Michael Goldman, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

February 8, 2018

The Neoliberal Spirit of Populism

William Davies, Goldsmiths, University of London

November 28, 2017

Russlands Gegenströmung. Akteure und Schlüsselkonzepte eines neuen illiberalen Konservatismus

Katharina Bluhm, Freie Universität Berlin

November 15, 2017

Vermarktlichung von Arbeitsmarktdienstleistungen: Dilemmata wohlfahrtsstaatlicher Aktivierung

Ian Greer, Cornell University

October 20, 2017

Emmanuel Macron's Challenge: French Capitalism in Transition

Bruno Amable, University of Geneva

November 23, 2016

Intelligent Manufacturing and Socio-Economic Rebalancing in China – Changing production networks, work and industrial relations

Boy Lüthje, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, China

June 16, 2016

Das Finanzregime als "vierte Gewalt"

Joseph Vogl, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

May 18, 2016

Kritische Professionals - transnationale Governance durch Gegeneliten?

Sigrid Quack, University Duisburg-Essen

March 11, 2016

Global-soziale Marktwirtschaft und die Flüchtlingskrise

Carl Christian von Weizsäcker, Max-Planck-Institut zur Erforschung von Gemeinschaftsgütern (kommentiert von Eckhard Hein, HWR Berlin)
November 16, 2015

The Rise of the Platform Economy: Utopia or Dystopia?

John Zysman, Berkeley University

July 13, 2015

How Top Players Sway Policy and governing in the Twenty-First Century

Janine Wedel, George Mason University

June 1, 2015

Resilient Neoliberalism? Policy Responses to the Great Recession on Europe’s Periphery

Dorothee Bohle, Central European University

April 30, 2015

Macro-Economic Growth Models and Inequality Trends in the OECD

Jonas Pontusson, Université de Genève

March 27, 2015

Post-Carbon Capitalism and Democracy

Timothy Mitchell, Columbia University

December 3, 2014

Climate Change Politics and the Future of Capitalism

Jeffrey Broadbent, University of Minnesota

October 16, 2014

The Study of Global Capitalism: From Inter-national to Inter-temporal Comparison of Economic Institutions

Andreas Nölke, Goethe University Frankfurt/Main