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Regulation Theory

Bob Jessop

Subject Sociology » Sociological and Social Theory, Urban, Rural and Community Sociology

Key-Topics city

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405124331.2007.x


Regulation theory is a distinctive paradigm in critical political economy. It originated in Europe and North America in the 1970s in response to the emerging crisis of the post-war economy and it has since been applied to many other periods and contexts. Its name derives from its French originators, who describe it as la théorie de régulation or l'approche en termes de régulation . Similar ideas were also developed by other schools. The core concern of all such work is the contradictory and conflictual dynamics of contemporary capitalism considered in terms of its extra-economic as well as economic dimensions. In highlighting the extra-economic aspects of accumulation, regulation theorists draw on, and provide links to, other social sciences. Regulation theory was influential in economic, urban, and regional sociology in the 1980s and 1990s. This was partly because of its Marxist roots and partly because of its general heuristic power in organizing research on a wide range of sociological themes. Regulation theory has many intellectual precursors. Nonetheless, as it is conventionally understood in economics and also became influential in sociology, this approach was developed in the mid-1970s by a few French heterodox economists whose work is collectively identified as the Parisian School ( Aglietta 1979 ; Lipietz 1987 ; Boyer 1990 ). Two less well known and relatively minor ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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