Introduction to "Institutional Change in Contemporary Capitalism"
The common theme for research projects in this area is the liberalization of economies in postwar democratic nation-states as part of the globalization of markets and the political institutions that regulate them. Subjects of empirical research include collective labor relations and the transformation of labor markets towards greater "flexibility"; the dynamics of commodification and financialization; changes in the management, organization, and social role of large firms; the development of democratic participation under conditions of economic and political change, including within the European Union; the organization and definition of group interests in their relationship to state policies; and the current fiscal and financial crisis. The projects aim to provide insights into the causes, forms, and mechanisms of change in political-economic institutions in contemporary capitalism and how national politics can shape economic and social relations under conditions of increasing globalization. Many of the projects are internationally comparative and often take a diachronic historical perspective.