Academic journal article World Review of Political Economy

ECONOMIC CRISIS AND REGULATION THEORY Review of International Conference of Research & Regulation 2015

Academic journal article World Review of Political Economy

ECONOMIC CRISIS AND REGULATION THEORY Review of International Conference of Research & Regulation 2015

Article excerpt

The International Conference of Research & Regulation 2015, hosted by the French Laboratory for Social Dynamics and Space Recomposition (Laboratoire Dynamiques Sociales et Recomposition des Espaces) and the National Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilizations (Institut national des langues et civilisations orientales), was held on June 9-12, 2015 in Paris, France.

Regulation School, started in France in 1976, was theoretically based on Marxist Economics and absorbed part of the thoughts of Keynesian Economics. Accordingly, it proposed a comparatively systemic conceptual system and analysis framework, which has made an important contribution to the research of Marxist political economy on contemporary capitalism. Later, many American and European Marxist political economy schools accepted and developed the methodology and basic theories of French Regulation School, which resulted in the formation of Amsterdam School, West German Regulationists, Nordic Models Group, American Social Structures of Accumulation School (hereafter, it is referred to as SSA school), and Japanese Regulation School. All the above schools are collectively named as Regulation School.

The year 2015 witnessed the 40th anniversary of the establishment of Regulation School, and around 200 experts and academics from all over the world attended this distinguished conference. Famous academics included the representatives of French Regulation School such as Michel Aglietta, Robert Boyer, Alain Orléan, Bruno Théret, Pascal Petit, and Bruno Amable; the representatives of American SSA school such as Michael Reich, David Kotz, and Engelbert Stockhammer; the representatives of Japanese Regulation School such as Toshio Yamada and Hiroyuki Uni; and Bob Jessop from Britain, Marshall M. A. Feldman from America; Can Liu and Jie Meng from China; and other experts and academics from countries such as Norway, Austria, Switzerland, Holland, Spain, Italy, Australia, India, South Korea, Turkey, Algeria, Niger, Brazil, and Argentina. Following is a review of the international conference.

The theme of this international conference is "Economic Crisis and the Regulation Theory." Centering on this theme, the hosts selected over 170 papers from those submitted and divided them into 23 topics, among which topics such as reflection and criticism on the economics methodology, labor-management relations and capitalism crisis, financial system and development mode in the postcrisis era, sustainable development and global governance, capitalism diversity and East Asian economy are emphasized and discussed.

1. Reflection and Criticism on the Economics Methodology

Hiroyuki Uni, a professor from Kyoto University, Japan, pointed out that one of the biggest challenges that regulation theory should meet was how to establish an institutional basis for microeconomics. To achieve this, the old institutional economics especially the Commons' concepts could be referred and utilized. He found that there existed correspondence between Commons' concepts and regulation theory: multiple causation, double values, and collective reason in attaining reasonable value in Commons vs. cumulative causation, varieties of coordination and collective actions in emergence of mode in regulation theory. However, Commons did not reveal the process of "co-evolutions of actors' strategies and institutional forms," based on which as a breakthrough, Regulation School could exposit the process of the emergence of the mode of regulation, clarify the committee system of conflicts of interests through institutions for negotiations, and then construct the micro-basis for institutional economics.

Shingo Takahashi, a professor from Tokyo College of Transport Studies, proposed that in Commons' theory the transaction was not only authoritative but could coordinate economic agents' interests. The labor conflict occurred not as a result of changes in tools or methods of production, but directly as a result of changes in the market. …

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