Democracy and social democracy facing contemporary capitalisms: A "régulationist" approach
This article surveys some old and recent political economy research about the long term transformations and contemporary diversity in the mutual relationships between State, civil society and the economy. The hypothesis of institutional complementarity is extended from the institutional forms that sustain "regulation" modes to the analysis of the spill over from the polity to the economy and conversely from the economy to the polity. In spite of common challenges originating from individualization, globalization and financiarization, contrasted national trajectories for socio-economic and political regimes still coexist in contemporary world. The assessment of the relative merits of liberal capitalism, social-liberalism and renewed social-democracy suggests that the later regime is the best suited to limit the process of de-democratization to follow the concept coined by Charles Tilly in his 2007 book on "Democracy". Would social-democracy be the best rampart against the contemporary disenchantment about democracy? This unconventional hypothesis has to be mitigated by the fact that social-democracy "but also liberal democracy" cannot be imported as such. Its basic principles have to follow a process of hydridization according to various national traditions, let them be statist in France or meso-coporatist in Japan since the new demands from diverse civil societies have to be taken into account.
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