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The Evolution of Intermediary Institutions in Europe: From by Eva Hartmann, Poul F. Kjaer (eds.)

By Eva Hartmann, Poul F. Kjaer (eds.)

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It is more often analysed in terms such as public– private partnerships, stakeholding, networking, inter-organisational collaboration, regulated self-regulation, generalised political exchange, productive solidarity, productivity coalitions, learning regions, the social economy, participatory governance, associational democracy, and so on. These diverse forms can be linked via the notions of governance and meta-governance – as reflected in the subtitle of this volume: “from corporatism to governance”.

He had earlier suggested that corporatism, whether in pure form or as a subordinate element in hybrid regimes, could help (semi-) peripheral economies to catch up with more advanced industrial economies, and could also enhance representation and legitimation for more developed social formations (Manoïlescu, 1929). Nonetheless, these societal and statist corporatist tendencies were not all-powerful or ubiquitous. Sometimes, they were a subordinate but functional part of the economic and political order, and in the case of fascist and authoritarian regimes, corporatist projects often proved little more than an ideological cloak for other practices and institutions.

One of the many consequences of this is that the ‘ownership’ of governance frameworks is characterised by systematic uncertainty. They function as the ‘neutral ground’ where different orders engage, and this means that the ownership question tends to be a taboo. An epistemic ramification of this is a structural condition for operationability, and, because most governance structures are characterised by an asymmetric distribution of resources and capabilities among those participating, discursive hegemony remains a permanent threat.

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