Regulatory capitalism suggests that the operation maintenance and development of the international political economy increasingly depends on administrative rules outside the legislatures and the courts. In other words, it tells us that capitalism is a regulatory institution – one that is being constituted, shaped, constrained and expanded as a historically woven patchwork of regulatory institutions, strategies, and functions.
Although this patchwork varies widely across regions, nations, regimes, sectors, issues, and arenas, the general trend despite and beyond the process of liberalization is that of growth rather than decline of the role regulation in shaping policy and politics. Regulatory capitalism claims that the capitalist system was built, cultivated, and controlled by regulation and that demand for regulation is in fact generated by capitalism.
Deregulation may represent trends in some industries (notably finance), but more regulation is the general trend beyond that characterize modern and post-modern capitalism alike. Regulation, which refers to rule making and rule enforcement, is in this interpretation an instrument of organizations—states, business, civil and hybrid and is carried at all political arenas and levels.
The concept of regulatory capitalism serves as an alternative to concepts like financial capitalism, welfare capitalism, casino capitalism, developmental capitalism, risk capitalism, state capitalism and crony capitalism in an attempt to shed more light on capitalism as a polymorphous order. It builds on and extends the observations on the rise of a particular form of state–the regulatory state–and social governance via rule making, rule monitoring and rule enforcement.
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