Ordoliberalism, European Monetary Union and State Power

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The capitalist state is the indispensable power of a free labor economy. Its class character is not founded on a national basis. Rather it is founded on the world market relations of capitalist wealth and includes a history of suffering. This article scrutinizes ordoliberalism as a veritable statement about the character of capitalist society and its state. In the contemporary debate about the ordoliberalization of Europe, the ordoliberal argument about capitalist labor economy as a practice of government is put aside and instead it is identified with a certain ‘German’ preference for austerity and seemingly also technocratic governance, undermining the European democracies and leading to calls for the resurgence of the national democratic state that governs for the many. In this argument illusion dominates reality. In distinction, the argument attempted here scrutinizes the role of the member states in monetary union as executive states of the bond that unites them. Monetary union strengthens the member states as ‘planners for competition’ and is entirely dependent upon their capacity to govern accordingly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)995-1010
JournalCritical Sociology
Issue number7-8
Publication statusPublished - 5 Apr 2019

Bibliographical note

This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details.


  • Austerity
  • European Monetary Union
  • class
  • democracy
  • economic liberalism/ordoliberalism
  • labor
  • state power
  • world market

Cite this