Is the Competition State the New, Post-Fordist, Mode of Regulation? Regulation Theory from an International Political Economic Perspective
Author: Palan, Ronen
Source: Competition & Change, Volume 10, Number 2, June 2006 , pp. 246-262(17)
Publisher: Maney Publishing
Abstract:An unfortunate drift towards theories of structural recurrence informs much of the thinking about post-Fordism. In a typical structuralist manner, the idea is that once a particular regime of regulation collapses, a transition period ensues culminating in a new regime of accumulation. Historical evidence suggests otherwise. The paper re-assesses the concept of Fordism in light of the experience of the US, and in particularl in the context of the powerful anti-trust movement of the early twentieth century, which fused with a broader 'constructivist' agenda of the First New Deal administration. I am not arguing that Fordism should not be considered as a social mechanism for coping with the advent of the new corporation and mass production. But it should equally be understood as a wide-ranging political movement that brought together elements of small business, middle and working classes in response to the emerging trusts or cartels and the immense corruption of the 'robber barons'. Conversely, the Post-Fordist period saw not only the collapse of the Fordist compromise, but also of the collapse of that political movement and its replacement by the pro-business politics associated with the Competition State.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2006-06-01