Putting Capitalist Economies in their Place
7. Regenerating the regulation approach The RA has developed a distinctive approach to accumulation, its conditions of existence, its varieties, its crisis tendencies and its impact on wider social relations. Its extensive application to issues of ‘Fordism’ and ‘post-Fordism’ contributed much to its initial popularity. But even early regulationist studies explored other topics and later work has deepened and widened RA work far beyond the issue of Fordism and its possible successor(s). It is these trends that concern us here. We explore the RA’s successive generations and developmental paths, with examples from the Parisian ‘state of the art’ and other schools. We then consider Parisian responses to the failure of the initial alternative economic strategy with which it was associated (due to its non-adoption rather than implementation failure) and to its relative isolation from mainstream economics. We also examine how regulationism has been received and understood outside the ﬁeld of economics. We end by asking if these years of research, scholarship and exposition have been worthwhile and suggest that the RA has, indeed, initiated ‘an endogenous process of cumulative research’ (Vidal 2001: 45; cf. Boyer and Saillard 2002c: 45). GENESIS AND AGENDA OF THE REGULATION APPROACH The RA is often mistakenly identiﬁed with the highly inﬂuential Parisian école de la régulation of economists such as Aglietta, Boyer and Lipietz. The other schools identiﬁed in Chapter 1 have had far less impact overall. Thus, at the risk of perpetuating the conﬂation of regulationism and the...
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