Between the State, Law, and the Market: The Social and Professional Stakes in the Construction and Definition of a Regulatory Arena
As a result of the opening up of borders, the rules, institutions, and more generally the whole framework for economic activity in capitalist countries have become one of the weapons, as well as one of the stakes, in increased international competition. These legal devices are also one of the objects of an entire export-oriented--and imperialist--service industry of symbolic production, which aims to substitute the market economy for the various more or less interventionist systems of planning erected by the communist régimes, as well as the welfare states and the 'developmental states' ( Castells 1992).
It is therefore hardly surprising that the analysis of these regulatory devices has once again become the focus of academic debate, not only among lawyers, but also economists and sociologists, who after a short period of neglect have rediscovered the issue of the government of economic activity. Rules and institutions are in fashion, but each participant gives them a definition which suits his or her position in the academic arena and strategy in the arena of professional practices. Thus, regulatory competition is paralleled by competition over the representation of this regulatory arena. How should it be defined? Is it concerned with rules and legal institutions, as most lawyers suggest, at least implicitly? Or should it include 'markets, hierarchies, states, networks and associations' ( Hollingsworthet al. 1994, p. 8), in other words a whole range of devices for governing the economy which are combined differently according to the country, the sector of activity, and the epoch, to make up an extraordinary variety of 'modes of regulation'?____________________