Trialog series "Deutscher Sonderweg? – Rethinking Economics"

Economic pluralism and the German Sonderweg

The objective of the Trialog series “Deutscher Sonderweg” is to critically discuss – from a neoclassical as well as a heterodox perspective – the most urgent issues of our time. The Trialogs want to provide reasoned scrutiny of the axioms of economic sciences, that are greatly influenced by a high level of normativity, and open up the debate towards a more pluralistic approach in economics – in academia as well as in policy advice.

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DS Partner 01 - Economic pluralism


DS Logo 300x64 - Economic pluralism

Interview with
Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul

Interview with
Professor Christoph M. Schmidt

Interview with
Professor Gesine Schwan

Interview with
Dr. Stefan Profit

Interview with
Professor Sebastian Dullien

[+] 1st Trialog: Leitmotiv "competitiveness" in Germany | March 6, 2017

On 6 March 2017, we launched the Trialog series “Deutscher Sonderweg” on economic pluralism in Germany with the first Trialog, addressing the leitmotiv “competitiveness” in Germany. The Trialog addressed the link between Germany’s foreign trade policy, its strong competitive economy and its considerable current account surpluses. Other countries are heavily indebted with Germany. In the view of numerous economic experts Germany’s export surplus has reached a critical level and has contributed to political tensions within the European Union and beyond. The aim of the event was to identify theoretical arguments and explanatory patterns that justify German competition policy and to confront these positions with other heterodox economic positions or claims.


Guiding questions were:

  • Does the Deutsche Sonderweg put cohesion in the Euro zone and the European Union at risk? If this is the case, what alternatives for a Europe-friendly economic policy are possible?
  • How to judge criticism from abroad saying that the Deutsche Sonderweg is rooted in a historically justified need for security, which is however not accountable to economic reason?
  • Considering Brexit, US presidency elections and the foreseeable end of TTIP – what implies the turning away from free trade for Germany’s export orientation?


Learn more here (German only).

[+] 2nd Trialog: Which fiscal policy in crisis? | July 3, 2017

Besides Foreign trade policy, the fixation in German fiscal policy on a “black zero” is the second example of a German Sonderweg among industrialized countries. The controversial refusal of expansive fiscal policies, even in a context of low interest rates, is discussed in view of its paradigmatic basis and confronted with competing monetary and fiscal positions.


Guiding questions are:

  1. Saving – no matter the costs? What are risks of Member State budgetary discipline? How to secure political power and capacity and how to tackle investment gaps?
  2. Is German austerity policy a solution or a driver of the crisis in Europe? How to judge criticism from abroad saying that the German Sonderweg contributed to a massive loss of trust in the European Union?
  3. What fiscal and monetary perspectives does Europe need in the future?


Learn more here (German only).