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Economic Crises and Policy Regimes

Economic Crises and Policy Regimes

The Dynamics of Policy Innovation and Paradigmatic Change

Edited by Hideko Magara

In this innovative book, Hideko Magara brings together an expert team to explore both the possibilities and difficulties of transitioning from a neoliberal policy regime to an alternative regime through drastic policy innovations. The authors argue that, for more than two decades, citizens in developed countries have witnessed massive job losses, lowered wages, slow economic growth and widening inequality under a neoliberal policy regime that has placed heavy constraints on policy choices.

Chapter 6: How do polity and economy interact within Régulation Theory? Consequences for policy regimes and reform strategies

Robert Boyer

Subjects: economics and finance, political economy, welfare economics, politics and public policy, political economy, public policy, social policy and sociology, economics of social policy


After the collapse of the Soviet Union, many analysts accepted a common path for the future of modern societies; that is, modern societies should converge to a canonical socioeconomic regime featuring complementarity between a market economy and the diffusion of democracy (Fukuyama 1992). They were supposed to replace previously planned economies governed by authoritarian political regimes. In retrospect, this estimate is not sufficiently confirmed through its evolution in the 1990s and 2000s. The transition from plan to market has proved to be much more difficult than expected (World Bank 1993). Instead of hindering the implementation of market logic, an alternative form of state is essential to deliver the implementation prerequisites of market mechanisms. The rise of the Chinese economy is a good example of such a complementarity (Boyer 2012). In contrast, democracy does not appear any more as the automatic outcome of the collapse of authoritarian regimes. For example, it is evident that the political transformation of Iraq has failed to follow the same path (social peace, empowerment of citizens, democratization and so on) as Europe or Japan after World War II. Merely organizing general elections does not necessarily open the path to democratization. Similarly, a modern, efficient and legitimate state cannot be taken as is from a successful democratic regime elsewhere. This is so because democratic regimes need to incorporate traditions after negotiations with domestic socioeconomic groups (Fukuyama 2004).

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