By Christian Berndt (auth.)

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Extra info for Corporate Germany between Globalization and Regional Place Dependence: Business Restructuring in the Ruhr Area

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In Germany, for instance, differences between public and private interests have always been drawn less sharply. There is reason to argue that the (real) state form characteristic for the German Model has always been a mixture between the external and the network state, giving rise to what is referred to as the ‘enabling state’ in the literature. With a view to the situation in Germany three features of the enabling state stand out. The first relates to the establishment of general rules of the game by the state, or what in Germany is known as Wirtschaftssystem and Wirtschaftsordnung (economic system and economic order), and their relation to the political system and society as a whole.

Some scholars therefore insist that political–economic approaches looking at the total package of relations and arrangements, and the conflicts and contradictions within them, are still required for academic inquiry (Harvey, 1982, 1989; Lovering, 1996). However, the achievement of French regulationism notwithstanding, I believe that there still exist two fundamental weaknesses. The first concerns deficits regarding the micro level of social interaction. Following recent trends towards a reconciliation of both camps (see Boyer and Hollingsworth, 1997; Dicken and Thrift, 1992; Giddens, 1984; Ingham, 1996; Sayer, 1995; Zukin and DiMaggio, 1990), I seek to account for this weakness by linking regulationist thought with recent advances in institutionalism.

1 Accumulation, mediation and regulation The core concepts and basic elements of regulation theory are well rehearsed. It should therefore suffice to provide a brief summary. The regulation school seeks to analyze long-term transformation processes of capitalist political economies, focusing on the role of specific institutions and Institutions and Regulation 17 practices in modifying the universal laws of capitalism. This involves both economic and ‘non-economic’ norms, values and rules (see Boyer, 1990a; Jessop, 1994a).

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