Conversation on States and Markets (with Marion Fourcade)

ASA Economic Sociology Section Newsletter, Fall 2015, pp. 10-16

A perennial question in economic sociology is the relationship between the state and economy, which most economic sociologists conceptualize as co-constitutive. How would you characterize your own take on the relationship between the state and economy, and states and markets? What are some unexplored questions or problems we should be discussing/studying? Where should future research turn?

Wolfgang Streeck: I prefer to speak of either “the state and the market” or “the state and capitalism”. “The market” is shorthand for a mode of governance (free contracts at prices set by supply and demand) while “capitalism” refers to a particular power structure in society (private ownership of the means of production, private accumulation of capital). ”The state and the market” refers to the multifaceted relationship between two modes of allocation (distribution), whereas “the state and capitalism” refers to the equally multifaceted relationship between two different kinds of power (political and economic), or between citizenship and property rights, etc. (…)

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