Introduction to "Institutional Change in Contemporary Capitalism"
The common themes of the research projects in this area are the restructuring of the postwar democratic nation-state, the liberalization of national economies, and the concurrent globalization of markets and of the political institutions that regulate them. Subjects of empirical research include: collective labor relations and the transformation of labor law in the direction of greater "flexibility"; the organization and definition of group interests and their relationship to government policy; and changes in the management, organization, and social role of large companies. Projects aim to provide insight into the causes, forms, and mechanisms of change in political-economic institutions and the role of political reforms within nation-states and their capacity to shape social relations and the capitalist economy under conditions of increased globalization. Many of the projects are internationally comparative, and a growing number take up a diachronic historical perspective. In addition to general problems of institutional change, projects address the convergence and divergence of different national models of modern capitalism as well as the possibilities for a "European model" of a socially regulated market economy.