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Globalization and Institutions

Redefining the Rules of the Economic Game

Edited by Marie-Laure Djelic and Sigrid Quack

This volume investigates the relationship between economic globalization and institutions, or global governance, challenging the common assumption that globalization and institutionalization are essentially processes which exclude each other. Instead, the contributors to this book show that globalization is better perceived as a dual process of institutional change at the national level, and institution building at the transnational level. Rich, supporting empirical evidence is provided along with a theoretical conceptualization of the main actors, mechanisms and conditions involved in trickle-up and trickle-down trajectories through which national institutional systems are being transformed and transnational rules emerge.
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Chapter 7: Path-dependent National Systems or European Convergence? The Case of European Electricity Markets

Atle Midttun, Augusto Rupérez Micola and Terje Omland


Atle Midttun, Augusto Rupérez Micola and Terje Omland INTRODUCTION An ongoing debate on the internationalization of modern economy conveys two quite different pictures. On the one hand, international integrationists like Ohmae (1985, 1995) or Doz and Pralahad (1993) argue that the modern economy is moving towards seamless integration. Ohmae goes on to argue that this leads to convergence of firm strategy and behaviour. On the other hand, the national styles argument (Whitley 1992, 1999; Hollingsworth and Boyer 1997; Hall and Soskice 2001) points to national institutions as still exerting a dominant influence over current business practices. Given the close interplay between economic, political and institutional dimensions (Polanyi 1944, see also Djelic and Quack in the introduction to this volume) this debate may be pursued at two levels: at an economic level and at a political/institutional one. At the economic level the focus is on how international trade, foreign investments, global capital markets and firm internationalization impact on and interact with national markets. At the political level the focus is on international agreements, treaties or institutions and how they impact on national economic behaviour. Of particular interest is the interface between transnational organizations and institutions (for example the World Trade Organization or WTO) or supranational constructions (for example the European Union or EU) and national entities. Taking the broad institutionalist framework of this book as a point of departure, this chapter specifies a more explicit framework for discussing globalization up against national styles. Drawing on evolutionary theory, and the distinction...

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