The State and the Transnationalisation of Markets:
Reflections on Nikos Scandamis’ Passion d’un grand acteur
University of Glasgow
In this paper I take the cue from Skandamis’ theorisation of the State, to ask about the subjection of the State to the ‘surveillance’ of the market. I look at the inaugural gesture of this development in tandem of State and market, their parallel positioning in the theory of the ‘social market’. If, in the wake of the war, with the Ordoliberals, “social market economy” became the sign for the successful synthesis between an efficient market economy and a commitment to social justice, the “highly competitive” modality that transcribed it into the Treaty of Lisbon harnessed it to austerity politics. I argue this along two lines. The first looks back and identifies a profound ambivalence in the ordoliberal heritage of the European Union. The second looks forward in order to identify, at the current juncture, what the project of a social Europe means for the future, today.