Cover image, "Germany's Hidden Crisis: Social Decline in the Heart of Europe," Oliver Nachtwey (Verso Books, 2018)

The Crisis of Contemporary Capitalism: Oliver Nachtwey in Conversation

Goethe-Institut New York
30 Irving Place
New York, NY 10003

American capitalism is frequently contrasted with its Western European other—namely, the social democratic model that seems, to American eyes, more equitable and less crisis-prone. Yet, as sociologist Oliver Nachtwey explains in his newly published book, Germany’s Hidden Crisis: Social Decline in the Heart of Europe (Verso Books, 2018), all is not well with Europe’s largest economy, where stagnant social mobility has led to social fragmentation and a revived nationalist right wing. In The Crisis of Contemporary Capitalism: Oliver Nachtwey in Conversation, co-presented by Goethe-Institut New York, Verso Books, and Brooklyn Institute for Social Research, Oliver Nachtwey will join BISR core faculty member Ajay Singh Chaudhary for an extended discussion of contemporary capitalism, social democracy, the neoliberal turn, the rise of the right, and alternatives to the status quo. What, if anything, differentiates Western European capitalism from its American variant—and why, if it was once in some sense more equitable, are Western European societies and institutions currently in crisis? How did neoliberalism make itself felt in Germany? What remains of the social democratic compact? Can Western Europe be re-stabilized—and under what conditions?

The Crisis of Contemporary Capitalism is free to attend. Please RSVP below. A reception will follow the talk.


  • Oliver Nachtwey

    Oliver Nachtwey is Associate Professor of Social Structure Analysis at the University of Basel, and a fellow at the Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt. His research interests include labor and industrial sociology, political sociology, the comparative study of capitalism, and social movements. He is the author of Germany’s Hidden Crisis: Social Decline in the Heart of Europe.

  • Ajay Singh Chaudhary

    Ajay Singh Chaudhary is the executive director of the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research and a core faculty member specializing in social and political theory. His research focuses on social and political theory, Frankfurt School critical theory, political economy, media, religion, and post-colonial studies. He has written for the The Guardian, Los Angeles Review of Books, Quartz, Social Text, Dialectical Anthropology, The Jewish Daily Forward, Filmmaker Magazine, and 3quarksdaily, among other venues. Ajay is currently writing a book on the politics of climate change.

Event Schedule

Tuesday, 7:00-9:00pm
April 16, 2019


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