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The social face of the Regulatory StateReforming public services in Europe$
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Sandra Eckert

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780719090318

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719090318.001.0001

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Public service reforms and comparative capitalism

Public service reforms and comparative capitalism

(p.12) 2 Public service reforms and comparative capitalism
The social face of the Regulatory State

Sandra Eckert

Manchester University Press

Chapter two approaches public service reform from the angle of comparative capitalism. It starts out by presenting the three varieties of capitalism (VoC) examined in the book, and extends the typological distinction to the analysis of change in the public utilities. A first section revisits the dichotomy developed by Hall and Soskice, contrasting liberal market economies (LMEs) and coordinated market economies (CMEs), and broadens its scope to include state-led market economies (SMEs) as a third type of capitalism. These types are situated with respect to two dimensions, the role of the state and interest organisation. Specified expectations about how these varieties of capitalism translate into varieties of reform are formulated. The chapter does also address the limits of a typological approach, notably when it comes to common trends such as privatisation, liberalisation and regulatory reform. The chapter rounds up with a discussion about how variation at the level of sectors can be integrated into the VoC framework, and why the postal sector is a particularly insightful case for analysis.

Keywords:   comparative capitalism, coordinated market economies (CMEs), interest organisation, liberal market economies (LMEs), state-led market economies (SMEs), varieties of capitalism (VoC)

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