Staten, religionen och kapitalet

en analys av den europeiska skuldkrisen utifrån Max Webers ?Den protestantiska etiken och kapitalismens anda?.

Previous research regarding the European debt crisis has mostly focused on the purely economic aspects of the crisis. However, there is a strong ?Protestant-Catholic? dimension in Europe, where historically Protestant countries are more prosperous than their Catholic and Orthodox counterparts. This has especially been a fact since early 2010, when several countries within the European Union had their credit ratings downgraded. Is this phenomenon merely a coincidence? Or could the roots of the recent troubles in Europe have a basis in historic religions? To tackle this question, Max Webers ?s 110 year old study The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism is brought back into light and used as a tool for analysis of the crisis.The results show that not only are Protestant countries in general more prosperous, but they also have lower corruption and their citizens have a higher level of trust towards the government. These results are in line with what Weber called the ?bureaucratization? and the ?rationalization? of the society from a traditional one into a rationalized one. According to Weber, the ?protestant work ethic? had certain features that helped create propitious preconditions for rationalization, which were extremely benign for the rise of capitalism in the Western world.Furthermore, the results in this studies show that the historic religions have had a lasting impact on national politics within Europe and that they remain a driving force behind european culture. Historically Protestant countries are therefore in less risk of getting in debt and capitalism still have a better chance of success in these countries.


Gustav Palm

Lärosäte och institution

Södertörns högskola/Institutionen för historia och samtidsstudier


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