Beyond the Regulation Approach

Beyond the Regulation Approach

Putting Capitalist Economies in their Place

Bob Jessop and Ngai-Ling Sum

This book presents a detailed and critical account of the regulation approach in institutional and evolutionary economics. Offering both a theoretical commentary and a range of empirical examples, it identifies the successes and failures of the regulation approach as an explanatory theory, and proposes new guidelines for its further development.

Conclusion: Putting Capitalist Economies in their Place

Bob Jessop and Ngai-Ling Sum

Subjects: economics and finance, institutional economics, political economy, politics and public policy, political economy, social policy and sociology, sociology and sociological theory


This book has only scratched the surface of many themes associated with the RA and has neglected many other important aspects. Indeed, given the variety of schools and their several generations of work, it is hard to provide an overall assessment of the merits (and demerits) of the regulation approach in its many and varied manifestations. The fact that the RA is a progressive paradigm with many active researchers across many different fields means that it is impossible to be completely contemporary with its theoretical development. Our principal concern so far has been to identify and discuss some of the common features of the RA, to locate it within the philosophy of the social sciences (including economics) and broader trends in institutional and evolutionary economics, and to provide the context for our own efforts both to interpret, apply and extend the regulation approach. We have therefore outlined the main elements of the regulationist research programme, identified its principal schools and considered their development during the 30 years or so since its inception. In the latter regard we have focused particularly on the dominant Parisian school. Because our own approach to regulation is closer in crucial aspects to the Amsterdam and West German schools, however, we will return to some of their major recent contributions in our companion volume. Our first encounter with regulationism in Chapter 1 ended with the claim that, despite its theoretical and methodological problems and the inconsistencies within and across its different schools, the basic research...

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