In: Jahrbuch für Historische Kommunismusforschung 2012. Berlin: Aufbau Verlag, pp. 249-264.
Starting with the question why there was no such phenomenon as “Euro-communism” in Western Germany, this essay wants to explore the problem of continuity between pre-war and post-war communist politics in Germany. Following a short account of the demise of the Western German Communists before 1956, the main part of the essay uses the theoretical concept of “Fordism” to analyse the emergence of a new Left in Western Germany in the mid-sixties. The main thesis is that both the absence and presence of Euro-communism can be related to a broader crisis of political representation within the Fordist welfare-state. It was a crisis that undermined the mechanisms of class-politics on which the labour movement had built up its strategies.