Capitalism and Its Legitimacy in Times of Crisis

  • Steffen Schneider
  • Henning Schmidtke
  • Sebastian Haunss
  • Jennifer Gronau

Part of the Transformations of the State book series (TRST)

Table of contents

About this book


This volume examines why the 2008 financial crisis with the subsequent Great Recession did not foster a major institutional transformation of the capitalist market economy. It highlights the role of ideas and public discourse in explaining institutional stability and change in the wake of economic crises and other critical junctures. Examining legitimation discourse in four OECD countries (Germany, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States) between 1998 and 2011, the contributions to the volume use different text-analytical methods to bring out the ideas that underpin affirmative and critical media discourse on the capitalist regime. Individual chapters focus on the contours and trajectories of legitimation discourse before and after the financial crisis, on the attribution of responsibility for the crisis, on the use of metaphors and narratives, and on the formation of discourse coalitions challenging the regime. Together, they show that the post-2008 legitimation crisis of the capitalist market economy did not result in its sustained delegitimation or in powerful new ideas that might have mobilized support for radical institutional change. The book will appeal to students and scholars of economic sociology, media studies and political science.


Capitalist market economy Financial crisis Discourse analysis OECD Valuation analysis Recession Narrative Legitimation discourse networks the Great Depression 2008 global financial crisis economic regime Keynesianism neoliberalism historical institutionalism text-analytical research legitimation crisis media discourse discursive structures

Editors and affiliations

  • Steffen Schneider
    • 1
  • Henning Schmidtke
    • 2
  • Sebastian Haunss
    • 3
  • Jennifer Gronau
    • 4
  1. 1.SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social PolicyUniversity of BremenBremenGermany
  2. 2.Bavarian School of Public Policy, TUM School of GovernanceTechnical University of MunichMunichGermany
  3. 3.SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social PolicyUniversity of BremenBremenGermany
  4. 4.Centre for Global Cooperation Research (Käte-Hamburger-Kolleg)DuisburgGermany

Bibliographic information