fiscal crisis (of the state)

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fiscal crisis (of the state) A term coined by James O'Connor (The Fiscal Crisis of the State, 1973), to denote the ‘structural gap’ in advanced capitalist societies between state revenues and expenses, which leads to economic, social, and political crises; now used more widely to describe such fiscal difficulties. For example, in Contradictions of the Welfare State (1984) and Disorganized Capitalism (1985), the German sociologist Claus Offe examines the legitimation problems of advanced welfare-capitalist societies, and what he calls the ‘crises of crises management’; namely, the problems faced by states in attempting to manage the socio-political problems (notably the fiscal crises, demand overload, and decline of the ‘achievement principle’) that he sees as being inherent in such social systems.