Johannes Schmidt

Title: ‘The Euro in Light of Georg Simmel’s Philosophy of Money With a Case Study of the Introduction of the Euro in Estonia

Supervisor: Professor Dr. Wolfgang Drechsler

Opponent: Aleksander Aidarov, MA

Defense: 13 December 2012


Abstract: Today’s world is certainly not imaginable without money. Money is a determining aspect of modern life; nevertheless its study is predominantly in the hands of economists. In the social sciences it was Georg Simmel with his Philosophy of Money who first attempted to holistically grasp the phenomenon of money and its impacts on culture. In this thesis, I point out the topicality of some of Simmel’s insights for the euro, thereby also using his theories to illuminate two important money-related policy cases themselves, the euro in general and the introduction of the euro in Estonia in particular. I show, among other things, that Simmel’s notion about trust is as relevant as ever in today’s times, for both, the euro and its introduction in Estonia. A Simmelian perspective in many ways enriches our understanding of the euro.

Keywords: Georg Simmel, philosophy of money, the Euro-zone, Estonia.