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 Research Projects at the MPIfG

Capitalist Development and the Market for Corporate Control

Helen Callaghan

"Why is gradual institutional change in contemporary capitalism not random but patterned, proceeding toward liberalization rather than in no particular or some other direction?" This question, posed by Wolfgang Streeck in 2009, marks a shift in focus toward the dynamics of change within capitalist systems and away from the static cross-country comparisons that still dominate contemporary political economy. By focusing on political responses, this project complements Streeck's emphasis on specific behavioral characteristics of capitalist social actors that drive forward market expansion. The project examines parliamentary debates in Britain, France, Germany, and the US from the 1950s onward to document a gradual decline of political resistance to contested takeovers. Concepts from evolutionary biology are used to identify generalizable mechanisms whereby political incentives change as markets expand. These self-reinforcing mechanisms help explain why decades often pass before unprecedented marketization provokes re-regulatory action. Project duration: January 2012 to April 2017.
Callaghan, Helen. 2012. "Economic Nationalism, Network-based Coordination, and the Market for Corporate Control: Motives for Political Resistance to Foreign Takeovers." MPIfG Discussion Paper 12/10. Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, Cologne.
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