Spiralling inequality since the 1970s and the global financial crisis of 2008 have been the two most important challenges to democratic capitalism since the Great Depression. To understand the political economy of contemporary Europe and America we must, therefore, put inequality and crisis at the heart of the picture.
In this innovative new textbook Mattias Vermeiren does just this, demonstrating that both the global financial crisis and the European sovereign debt crisis resulted from a mutually reinforcing but ultimately unsustainable relationship between countries with debt-led and export-led growth models, models fundamentally shaped by soaring income and wealth inequality. He traces the emergence of these two growth models by giving a comprehensive overview, deeply informed by the comparative and international political economy literature, of recent developments in the four key domains that have shaped the dynamics of crisis and inequality: macroeconomic policy, social policy, corporate governance and financial policy. He goes on to assess the prospects for the emergence of a more egalitarian and sustainable form of democratic capitalism.
This fresh and insightful overview of contemporary Western capitalism will be essential reading for all students and scholars of international and comparative political economy.