The "Social Market Economy": a possible model for Lebanon?
The text takes advantage of a formal occasion linked to the promotion of the German model of “social market economy” to reexamine the place of Germany in the history and in the present situation of the Near Eastern Arab countries, pointing at a decisive practical and symbolic influence, far away from the common images of distance and neutrality.
It then reviews some similarities in the internal historical experiences, namely in relation to the state building and to the reconstruction processes.
It finally gets to the question of the “social market economy” and looks at it from three perspectives: 1) as a theory, 2) as a practice and experiment and 3) in view of the relations between theory and application and their reciprocal effects, considering that it offers an exemplary illustration of the unstable and complex relations of political thought and action.
The theory is actually the product of the peculiarities of the German institutional and intellectual history; it was able, by virtue of an accident, to be brought to power, where it answered precise societal needs but, because of its success, it became the emblem for various policies that departed from its original positions the more the social conditions departed from those that prevailed at its emergence; all that to reappear as the main source of inspiration for the European construction after having inspired the institutional reconstruction of post-war Germany.