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Facts and Findings

Climate Change, Digitisation and Globalisation – does the Social Market Economy need Renewal?

Origins and current challenges

The Social Market Economy has proven to be a stable and successful economic and social order. Yet climate change, digitisation and globalisation pose current challenges. Does the Social Market Economy need renewal? Our Facts & Findings looks at its origins and seeks to answer this question.

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  • In light of current challenges – particularly climate change, digitisation, globalisation and not least the COVID-19 pandemic – the Social Market Economy faces calls for renewal.
  • The founding fathers of the Social Market Economy – particularly Alfred Müller-Armack – regarded the Social Market Economy as an evolving economic and social order that can and must constantly be adapted to current challenges.
  • Even though the Social Market Economy could not account for present-day challenges at the time of its initiation, it is possible to derive policy recommenda- tions from its values and principles. Its detailed elabo- ration is part of a societal negotiation process.
  • The Social Market Economy is capable of addressing economic and societal challenges. A renewal of the Social Market Economy is necessary in the sense of adapting the free regulatory framework – its values and principles are yet timeless.

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Martin Schebesta

Martin Schebesta bild

Policy Advisor Energy and Resources +49 30 26996 3595 +49 30 26996 3551


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About this series

The series informs in a concentrated form about important positions of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung on current topics. The individual issues present key findings and recommendations, offer brief analyses, explain the Foundation's further plans and name KAS contact persons.


Dr. Kristin Wesemann


Head of Strategy and Planning +49 30 26996-3803

Sophie Steybe

Referentin Publikationen +49 30 26996-3726