During the post-World War II period, a pattern emerged in several European countries: the concentrated and centralized political regulation of the economy, based on the adoption of Keynesian policies, the development of the welfare state and moderately successful attempts at tripartite integration. This pattern entered a deep crisis in the 1980s however, and in the view of many observers, was replaced by a far-reaching deregulation of the economy. The author argues that social and political institutions have by no means lost their ability to structure economic activities. They have, in fact, shaped the different ways in which the European economies have adjusted to market conditions. A pattern of 'micro-social' regulation of European economies emerged as a potential candidate to take the place of the 'macropolitical' one. This volume discusses the conditions under which a change from a macro to a micro form takes place, as well as the features of the emerging pattern.
• Innovative approach to the study of relations between markets, politics and society • Comparative analysis of trends in European societies with special focus on Italy, which is currently attracting increasing attention • Comprehensive, clear overview of change in the post-WWII period combined with discussion of recent trends and differences among European countries
Preface; Acknowledgements; Introduction: the shifting boundaries between market, politics and society; Part I. The Rise and Decline of the Political Regulation of the Economy: 1. The Keynesian welfare state and its crisis; 2. Unstable concertation; 3. Organised interests and public policies; 4. An anomalous case? State, economy and organised interests in Italy; Part II. The Micro-Social Regulation of Economic Adjustment: 5. The crisis of political exchange and the growth of micro-concertation; 6. The search for flexibility; 7. The problem of consensus in production; 8. An emblematic case: industrial adjustment and micro-concertation in Italy; Conclusion: the uncertain boundaries between macro and micro - the production of collective goods in the European economies; Notes; References; Index.