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The German Left and the Second Great Crash 1989-2009: 20 years of marking time

Die deutsche Linke und der zweite große Zusammenbruch 1989-2009: zwanzig Jahre einer beeindruckenden Zeit
[Arbeitspapier]

Thompson, Peter

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Abstract This paper puts the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 into its historical and economic context. It points out that the developments which led to the demise of communism were not restricted to the Soviet Bloc but part of a longer-term crisis of the global economy. Using Kondtratieff’s theory of Long Waves in capitalist developments, this paper shows how the end of the long post-war boom in around 1974 represented the top of the Kondtratieff wave and that the primary recession of 1979-82 and the deflationary policies carried out in order to restore capitalist profitability at that point also laid the ground for the undermining of the Soviet Bloc economies. 1989 is therefore seen as the consequence of the shift to global financialisation of the economy which necessitated a competitive catch-up policy in the form of Perestroika, the corollary of which was a readiness on the part of the Soviet Union to let Eastern Europe go its own way. The period since 1989 in Germany is presented as one in which the major party of the Centre-Left, the SPD, was forced to tack to the neo-liberal wind but which left the space for the PDS/Linke to profile itself as a left alternative. The current crisis, which the author contends will issue into a long Kondtratieff depression lasting until around 2020, means that social and economic priorities will shift away from the market and back towards the re-establishment of the primacy of politics over the market. This will put Die Linke in a strong position to represent the disadvantaged and force the SPD back towards a more leftist position. The end result, the author contends, will be a realignment of the Left into a solid block on the basis of the changed demography of a reunited Germany and a global economic crisis.
Thesaurusschlagwörter Federal Republic of Germany; political left; PDS; Social Democratic Party of Germany; political development; reunification; economic development (on national level); economic crisis; political crisis; recession; party; historical development; market mechanism
Klassifikation politische Willensbildung, politische Soziologie, politische Kultur; Volkswirtschaftstheorie
Methode empirisch; empirisch-quantitativ
Freie Schlagwörter Linke; Crash 2008; 1989; Kondratieff Long Wave
Sprache Dokument Englisch
Publikationsjahr 2008
Erscheinungsort Berlin
Seitenangabe 15 S.
Schriftenreihe Working Paper Series of the Research Network 1989, 20
Status Veröffentlichungsversion; nicht begutachtet
Lizenz Creative Commons - Namensnennung, Nicht kommerz., Keine Bearbeitung
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