Werner Bonefeld

Werner Bonefeld
The University of York · Department of Politics

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135
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1,620
Citations
Citations since 2017
44 Research Items
854 Citations
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2017201820192020202120222023050100150
2017201820192020202120222023050100150
2017201820192020202120222023050100150

Publications

Publications (135)
Article
Since the financial crisis of 2008, Ordoliberalism emerged from relative obscurity to become one of the crucial terms of analysis across a wide range of academic literatures and public discussion. In fact, it became the main reference for a number of issues, including assessments of the attempted resolution of the Eurozone crisis, arguments about G...
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Jorge del Arco: Aunque el principal motivo de esta entrevista es la publicación de uno de sus últimos libros, The Strong State and the Free Economy (Rowman & Littlefield, 2017), me gustaría preguntarle primero por la cuestión general que aborda el presente número de Dorsal. El posicionamiento de Michel Foucault con respecto al marxismo estuvo fuert...
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Interview with Sunliang about Open Marxism and the Critique of Political Economy as a Critical Social Theory
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Against the background of the contemporary debate about financialisation, the paper conceptualises the capitalist labour economy as fundamentally a monetary system. It argues that money is not a capitalist means of organising its labour economy but that it is rather a capitalist end. The argument examines and finds wanting conceptions of money in p...
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Against the background of the contemporary debate about financialisation, the paper conceptualises the capitalist labour economy as fundamentally a monetary system. It argues that money is not a capitalist means of organising its labour economy but that it is rather a capitalist end. The argument examines and finds wanting conceptions of money in p...
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This chapter is concerned with the basic features of economic forms, considering them as objective phenomena of Capitalist society, and with the specific role that the critique assumes in treating them. This is an abstraction that, given the importance of its objective condition within the social form, tends to compel the behavior of social individ...
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Final Version forthcoming in Antonio Oliva, Ivan Novara and Angel Oliva (eds.) Marx and Contemporary Critical Theory, Palgrave, sometime 2020.
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(Draft) Foreword to Open Marxism vol.4, edited by Ana Cecilia Dinerstein, Alfonso García Vela, Edith González & John Holloway, Pluto Press, 2019
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(Draft) Chapter, forthcoming in Commoning With George Caffentzis and Silvia Federici edited by Camille Barbagallo, Nicholas Beuret, David Harvie, Pluto Press, 2019
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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. The article scrutinizes ordoliberalism as a veritable statement about the character of capitalist society and it...
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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 i...
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Karl Marx's Capital is critique of the capitalistically organised social relations of reproduction. It recognises economic categories as perverted social categories and asks about the manner in which human social practice manifests itself in the form of inde-pendent economic categories and laws that unfold as if governed by invisible principles. He...
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Final version forthcoming in CONSECUTIO RERUM, December 2018.
Book
https://uk.sagepub.com/en-gb/eur/the-sage-handbook-of-frankfurt-school-critical-theory/book248517#preview
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El título del artículo contiene dos afirmaciones poco comunes. En primer lu- gar, sostiene que la dialéctica negativa de Adorno implica una crítica de las relaciones constituidas de la objetividad económica. En segundo lugar, el subtítulo “sobre la lucha”, se opone a la concepción generalizada de la teoría crítica como una crítica inmanente de conc...
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Final version published in History of Economic Thought and Policy, 1/2018 Abstract Since the start of the Euro crisis there has been an abundance of literature that identifies an ordoliberal Europe with the politics of austerity. This literature is confronted by the paradox that the Euro is a stateless currency. Ordoliberalism holds that economic...
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http://logosjournal.com/2017/authoritarian-liberalism-class-and-rackets/
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The Euro is a stateless currency. In the context of European Union the ordoliberal argument that economic liberty amounts to a political practice and that the state is the predominant power in the relationship to free economy appears dated. This is however not the case at all. The Euro rests on the capacity of the federated member states to operate...
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Contemporary analyses hold that a German Ideology is governing the Eurozone. This ideology is German ordoliberalism. In these analysesEuropean public policy is said to have been caged in by ordoliberal preferences for fiscal austerity. In distinction, the identification of ordoliberalism with austerity is far too narrow to support the idea of an or...
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Explores the character of counter-hegemonic social theory, including the Althusserian account of society and history, which provides an insightful theoretical backdrop to modern notions of hegemonic struggle. Developing Adorno’s notions of ‘abstract negativity’ and ‘quasi-practice’, it argues that the theory and practice of counter-hegemony does no...
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Recibido: 12 de octubre de 2015 Aceptado: 20 de diciembre de 2015 RESUMEN La teoría de la hegemonía no convierte la sociedad en objeto de reflexión. En lugar de ello, identifica la miseria realmente existente con una reivindicación de la toma del poder. La lucha por la hegemonía se alimenta de aquello que condena. Su crítica del capitalismo es dogm...
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The contribution examines the market liberal veracity of Hayek’s view that a dictatorship may be more liberal in its policies than an unlimited democratic assembly. Hayek’s warning about the potentially illiberal character of democratic government is key to the German ordoliberal thinking that emerged in the context of the crisis of the Weimar Repu...
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The article explores Adorno’s negative dialectics as a critical social theory of economic objectivity. It rejects the conventional view that Adorno does not offer a critique the economic forms of capitalist society. The article holds that negative dialectics is a dialectics of the social world in the form of the economic object, one that is governe...
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The contribution examines the market liberal veracity of Hayek's view that a dictatorship may be more liberal in its policies than an unlimited democratic assembly. Hayek's warning about the potentially illiberal character of democratic government is key to the German ordoliberal thinking that emerged in the context of the crisis of the Weimar Repu...
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Abstract For critical theory, the critique of capitalist society is subversive in character. It dissolves the dogmatic appearance of society as a manifestation of economic nature and rejects traditional anti-capitalist ideas about socialism as a planned labour economy. Traditional theory does not think against the grain of society. Rather, it think...
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Contemporary social theory reckons that society contains within itself the ‘promise of freedom’ (Honneth). This would suggest that society also contains within itself the ‘promise’ of a freedom from the elements of antisemitism. For the sake of this freedom, there would thus be need to develop the potential of society to the full, facilitating its...
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The ordoliberal conception that the strong but limited state is the fundamental precondition of a free society entails a negative judgement about the character of market competition. In opposition to the laissez-faire idea of market self-regulation, it rejects as dangerous to the constitution of liberty the idea that markets always know best. Compe...
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The article contextualises the Big Society in the context of neo-liberal thought about the character of society and arguments about the state as the political form of a free economy. It argues that Big Society is first and foremost a critique of the existing social relations. The contrasting term of the Big Society is therefore the small society. I...
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In the context of contemporary analyses of the Europe Union as a post-democratic form of economic governance, this article explores the (ordo)liberal character of monetary union as a regime of imposed liberty. The argument holds that rather than forcing the member states into retreat, the economic constitution of Europe strengthens their liberal fo...
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1970’lerin sonundaki devletin kökenine ilişkin tartışmalarının yavaşlamasından sonra (1), 1980’lerin başında neredeyse bütün kapitalist ülkelerde devlete olan ilgi, güce vurgu yapan muhafazakârlıkla yeniden meydana çıktı. Kapitalist devlet üzerine yapılan son çalışma (post-)Fordizm üzerindeki tartışmalardan etkilenmiştir (bkz: Hirsch & Roth, 1986)...
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We are in the middle of huge wave of uprisings, of massive, multitudinous refusals to accept the contemporary conditions. The article asks what it means to say NO in a society in which the poor and miserable are required to subsidise the financial system for the sake of sustaining the illusion of abstract wealth. This subsidy is necessary in existi...
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The article expounds the ordo-liberal tradition that emerged as a distinct neo-liberal conceptualization of free economy as a political practice. According to this tradition there are things more important than GDP in as much as free economy depends on the formation of the moral and the social preconditions of market freedom. The social facilitatio...
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In the context of the contemporary crisis of neoliberal political economy, the politics of austerity has reasserted the liberal utility of the state as the political authority of market freedom. This article argues that economy has no independent existence, and that instead, economy is a political practice. It examines the political economy of Adam...
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The paper is a reply to Berghahn and Young's reflections on Bonefeld's ‘Freedom and the Strong State’. It argues that ordoliberalism focuses on the strong state as the political form of free economy.
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Ordoliberalism is the theory behind the German social market economy. Its theoretical stance developed in the context of the economic crisis and political turmoil of the Weimar Republic in the late 1920s. It is premised on the strong state as the locus of liberal governance, and holds that economic freedom derives from political authority. In the c...
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Adorno’s social theory dissolves the dogmatic posture of reified things. Its critical intention is to decipher the human social practice hidden in things. For Adorno, the social practice that counts is the one that fights barbarism, and for this fight to succeed, it has to tackle the social preconditions that make barbarism possible. A social pract...
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Primitive accumulation is not just the historical starting point of capitalism, but, qua coercive proletarianization, central to its essence. It constitutes a specific mode of social labor and it is this mode of labor that forms the concept of capital. Primitive accumulation is therefore notjust a historical past from which capitalist social relati...
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Recent debates on abstract labour have highlighted Marx’s ambivalent conception of this important term. This article criticises current physiological definitions of the term, and against the background of earlier debates in Capital & Class, develops abstract labour as a specifically capitalist form of labour which entails a specific conception of s...
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The crisis of 2008 is said to have brought the state back in, and its resurgence, in turn, is seen as revealing post-neoliberal tendencies. This analytical framework implies a conception of market and state as two distinct modes of social organization, and the perennial question about such a conception is whether the market has autonomy vis-à-vis t...
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The critique of class society finds the positive only in the classless society, in communism. The difficulty of conceiving of human emancipation has to do with the very idea of communism. In distinction to the pursuit of profit, seizure of the state, pursuit and preservation of political power, and economic value and human resource, it follows a co...
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In: El trabajo en debate. Una investigación sobre la teoría y la realidad del trabajo capitalista Compiladores: Ana C. Dinerstein, Michael Neary | Ediciones Herramienta, Buenos Aires, 2009 | 304 páginas | ISBN 978-987-1505-09-8
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The article reviews the two-volume introduction to Capital by the German philosopher Wolfgang Fritz Haug. Like Althusser's structuralist interpretation, Haug does not interpret familiar Marxist ideas in trans-historical language. Rather he, too, presents trans-historical positions without ceremony as Marxist ones. His robust critique of critical in...
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The article revisits the Conference of Socialist Economists (CSE) debate on the national state and the global economy, and concludes with an appeal to internationalism. Its purpose is to introduce this debate to a new readership. Contemporary analyses of globalisation and the state tackle issues that were of key importance to this debate—yet the sp...
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This article explores Walter Benjamin's insight according to which the tradition of the oppressed teaches us that the 'State of emergency' is not the exception but the rule. The liberal state tradition, and not just its authoritarian wing, understands this well and does indeed conceive of the state as the executive committee of the bourgeoisie. The...
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Globalisation is a very spongy term. This article argues that anti-globalisation is equally spongy in character. It examines the untruth of conventional accounts of globalisation and anti-globalisation and argues that the truth of globalisation consists in the crisis-ridden development of capitalism, which has necessarily entailed destruction and m...
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This book publishes an exchange between neo-Gramscian and Open Marxism approaches to contemporary capitalism, ranging from theoretical debate on, for example, the meaning of the state and its relationship to the economy, to the analysis of the meaning and significance of class struggle. Our theoretical disagreements are significant and their practi...
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In Chapter 9, Andreas Bieler and Adam Morton charge so-called ‘Open Marxism’ with state centrism. This is a strange charge. Usually Marxism is associated with a critique of the state, and not with an affirmative political theory (cf. Bonefeld, 2003). In fact, state-centrism is generally levelled against neo-Gramscian accounts (cf. Clarke, 1991b). I...
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A central theme of this book is the relationship between the national state and the global political economy. According to neo-Gramscian approaches, this relationship has undergone a fundamental change that necessitates analyses of current developments in terms of a transition to a new capitalist epoch. According to this view, ‘the nation-state pha...
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Adam Smith was certain in his own mind that capitalism creates the wealth of nations and noted that ‘the proprietor of stock is properly a citizen of the world, and is not necessarily attached to any particular country. He would be apt to abandon the country in which he was exposed to a vexatious inquisition, in order to be assessed to a burdensome...
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Johannes Agnoli's death in 2003 deprived us of one of the most important thinkers of the categorical imperative of human emancipation.
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I My reply to Bieler and Morton's welcome 'Critical Economy' engagement with Open Marxism has a very limited objective. What is to be understood by 'Critical Economy'? The Open Marxism approach derived its name from a book by Johannes Agnoli and Ernest Mandel (1980), in which the two protagonists debated the meaning of Marx's 'critique' and, connec...
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If development as human progress takes itself seriously, it has to reveal the deceitful publicity of development as capitalist freedom. Development as capitalist freedom is currently discussed under the heading globalisation. The pros and cons of the globalisation debate are well established; has the economy escaped the national state irretrievably...
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The article argues that class is crucial for the understanding of European integration. Rivalry between member states presupposes their common interest in containing the European working class(es) and EMU renders the relationship of dependency and rivalry between member states more intense. The importance of class is well understood by liberal inte...
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European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) amounts to more than just an exchange rate mechanism. It substitutes participating currencies with a single currency or, in other words, replaces several decision making authorities by a single one: the European Central Bank (ECB). Participating countries lose control over monetary policy and are no longer...
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The contention that the relationship of Britain to European integration is peculiar summons common wisdom. Britain has time and time again been characterized as an ‘awkward’ (George, 1994) or ‘semi-detached’ (Bulmer, 1992) partner. However, despite its ‘awkwardness’, Britain has in fact signed and ratified the Maastricht Treaty.2
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Assessments of the politics of European integration in general, and monetary union in particular, are many. In fact, the study of the European Union has become an academic growth industry. This book does not add just another publication. Its theoretical focus and practical perspective are specific. The volume provides a critique of the political ec...

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