EURO4016 Contemporary European Societies II: Struktur und Zukunft der Sozialen Marktwirtschaft (3 units)
- EURO2006 Contemporary European Societies I: The German-Speaking Countries and Internship year in German-speaking Europe or equivalent or Ability to use German for Academic Purposes in speech, reading and writing
- Medium of Instruction:
This course examines the economies of the German-speaking area of Europe from 1945 to the present, with an emphasis on the German “Social Market Economy”. Where appropriate, it takes students’ working experience in Year III internships into account.
Based on earlier traditions, the Federal Republic of Germany purposely developed a specific political and economic system, the “Social Market Economy”. It created an extensive welfare state, but also institutions, which emphasised non-confrontational, cooperative action of employers and employees within a free market. Austria and Switzerland pursued similar strategies. These neo-corporatist structures underpinned the post-war “economic miracles” and decisively shaped contemporary culture.
In recent years, however, SMEs face serious challenges. Social services expansion outpaced economic growth. The systems became too costly and are further affected by demographic trends, structural change in the industry and attendant unemployment, European integration and the globalization of trade and capital markets. Germany has also had to cope with the unforeseen cost of reunification. As a consequence, the SMEs are undergoing lengthy and painful reforms. New industrial, labour, fiscal and educational policies are pursued to sustain the development of globally competitive, “post-industrial” service economies, while at the same time trying to retain as much as possible the original consensus models.
This course is held entirely in German.
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