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    Aglietta in England : Bob Jessops contribution to theregulation approachseptembre 1994Bonefeld, Werner

    1. Introduction

    The main contribution to the Regulation Approach (RA) in the UK has come from B. Jessop [1].

    His contribution bas focused on the reformulation of state theory. This reformulation aims at a

    conceptualisation of an intermediate concept of state: the fordist or post-fordist states as

    distinctively different modes of capitalist regulation. The reformulation of state theory bas been

    criticized by various authors [2]. The reformulation was criticized for its disarticulation of

    structure and struggle. ln this paper, it will be argued that Jessops adaptation of the RA entails

    a destruction of the Marxian notion of social relations in favour of a combination of system

    theory and conflict theory. Reformulating Marxism in this way involves a theoretical acceptance

    of the conceptual and practical horizons of a social given world. This acceptance involves a

    causalist and/or teleological determinism.

    Jessops reformulation of state theory is aIl too ready to endorse existing reality and its

    ideological projections. For Jessop so-called Thatcherism came to signify a broadranging and

    distinctive programme aimed at promoting a new accumulation regime and restoring the

    authority of the state. By restricting his horizon to this version of existing reality, Jessops

    analysis became blinkered. The movement of class struggle was dismissed in favour of

    apparently more fitting concepts like Post-Fordism. Within this restricted field of vision, the

    analysis of Thatcherism entailed the acceptance of the inevitability of a presumed thatcherite

    project. The acceptance of the conceptual and practical horizon of a given reality as ifs own

    theory was based upon a reformulation of Marxist theory in terms of regulation theory and

    Poulantzarian state theory. This reformulation entailed a fundamental revision of erstwhile

    positions, embracing enthusiastically the crass ideology of neoliberalism.

    This paper introduces Jessops notion of the dialectic between structure and strategy and

    discusses the application of this dialectic to the analysis of Thatcherism. The presentation is

    restricted to arguments relevant to the dialectic between structure and strategy. The following

    is the order of presentation : A brief introduction of Jessops own understanding of his work is

    followed by a short introduction of Jessops notion of accumulation strategy. The dialectic
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    between structure and strategy will be discussed in the third part. There then follows a section

    on Jessops approach to Thatcherism. The theoretical and political implications of Jessops

    approach will be examined in the papers final part. The conclusion is written in more general

    terms. This is so because it would be wrong to see his contribution as somehow unique. Jessop

    works within the framework of a particular school of thought. The differences within this school

    become of secondary importance when discussed in general terms.

    II. Jessops Understanding of his Work

    Jessop understands his own work as a combination of regulation theory with a strategic-

    relational account of the state inspired by Poulantzas and a discourse-theoretical approach to

    hegemony most influenced by Gramsci and Laclau (Jessop 1988). The distinctive features of his

    approach are the emphasis on the dialectic between structure and strategy. This emphasis

    appears in the use of concepts such as accumulation regime, forms of state, and historical bloc.

    These concepts are complemented by others such as accumulation strategy, state projects and

    hegemonic projects (ibid.). The dialectic between structure and strategy is explored in terms of

    strategie selectivity of structures and the structurally transforming role of strategies (ibid.).

    Jessops emphasis is a typical structuralist response to the problem of integrating class struggle

    iota the analysis. Within the framework of the RA, Jessop elaborates Agliettas methodological

    assumption that the class struggle produces norms and laws ; that these norms and laws form

    the object of a theory of social regulation ; that the class struggle itself is beyond any law

    (Aglietta 1979, p. 67).

    III. The Notion of Accumulation Strategy

    Jessops[3] contribution to the dialectic between structure and strategy attempts to build on,

    and to develop, Poulantzass approach in response to its critics. Jessop argues for a

    conjunctural (or relational) approach to the relation between the political and the economic,

    equating, in its most extreme version, not only struggle with strategy, but, as argued by

    Holloway (1988/1991), class struggle with capital strategies. The constitution of social reality, in

    Jessop, follows the independent logics of political and ideological domains, forcing the scientific

    mind to follow, in descriptive terms, the strategic line of capital in the face of various dilemmas,

    risks, uncertainties and complexities, emergent strategies, trial and error techniques etc.

    (Jessop et al. 1988, p. 8). As a consequence, complex historical phenomena are best analysed
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    as a complex resultant of multiple determinations (ibid., p. 53). Jessop claims that the interplay

    of objective laws of capitalist development and the hegemonic struggle of different capital

    logics provide mechanisms that melt different social systems together, so permitting a

    corresponding social cohesion of ideological, political and economic patterns. These patterns are,

    as argued by Bonefeld (1987/1991) and Clarke (1983), of a systematic kind, objectively

    unfolding and framed in a voluntarist fashion. As indicated by Psychopeds (1991) Jessop derives

    different logics of capital from distinct allocation interests which exist independently from class.

    The class struggle is separated from its mode of motion and degenerates into a factor of a

    historical development which is bath contingent and relative. The term accumulation strategy is

    used as a means of articulating the contingent unit y between the economic and the political.

    Since there is no substantive unity to the circuit of capital nor any predetermined pattern of

    accumulation (Jessop 1983, p. 91), sustained accumulation requires an extra power in order to

    impose regulative mechanisms. This power is the state. The pattern of accumulation is

    determined by the accumulation regime adopted by the state.

    Jessop advocates the Poulantzarian distinction between a theory of the capitalist mode of

    production and the theory of the capitalist state region. Such an approach to the capitalist state

    denies an internaI relation between the political and the economic on the basis of the labour

    theory of value (as in Jessop 1982). Responding to his critics, Jessop sought to make this good

    by supplying a link between the economic and the political [4]. The link is the concept of

    accumulation strategy (Jessop 1983). However, Jessops approach becomes eclectic since his

    specification of different accumulation strategies ranges from Hitlers Grossraum-wirtschaft to

    Japans rich country and strong army and to Germanys Modell Deutschland (ibid., p. 94).

    Further, the arbitrariness of choice is intensified by the failure to integrate a list of social

    phenomena iota a theoretical concept. The analysis becomes non-binding and, thereby,

    relativist. Jessops theorising is part of a tradition which takes for granted the fragmented

    character of social existence. The classical example of this tradition is the work of Max Weber,

    aIthough Jessop fails to approach the theoretical profundity and reflection which are

    characteristic of Webers analysis (Psychopedis 1991, p. 182). Jessops attempt to incorporate

    the labour theory of value iota his argument is conspicuous for its eclecticism. An accumulation

    strategy is understood as a "subject" which, in Jessops [1983] own words, "must take account"

    of the circuit of capital, international conjunctures, the balance of powers and which "must

    consider" the relation between the classes, etc. In other words, we have here a reappearance of

    the Hegelian idealistic subject so disliked by the structuralists. (Psychopedis 1991, p. 189). A
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    successful accumulation strategy stands above class relations because it takes into account

    different modes of calculation and gives a particular coherence and political direction to the

    multiplicity of forces operating in the real world of competing subjects. An accumulation strategy

    articulates multiple determinations of the real world into a specific mode of regulation.

    However, no unique accumulation strategy is available to the state, but rather a range of

    alternative strategies, expressing different classes and fractional interests and alliances. Any

    viable accumulation strategy bas to reconcile the pursuit of sectional interests with the sustained

    accumulation of capital. The determination of which accumulation strategy will be adopted by

    the state requires an analysis of political conflicts through which strategic issues are resolved

    (Jessop 1983). Jessops theory of conflict is based on the relative autonomy of the economic,

    political and ideological. The state is, following Poulantzas and Aglietta, seen as being formally

    determined as a vehicle for social cohesion. The task is thus to show the unfolding of the states

    formaI character in specific historical conjunctures. Jessops politicist understanding of capitalist

    reproduction is based on the notion that the state stands above a plurality of competitive and

    class struggles and provides the functional integration of a regime of accumulation. The real

    movement of capitalism is thus construed in terms of an articulation between different social

    systems which stand above the social conflict. Jessop offers his dialectic of structure and

    strategy as a means of integrating social relations into the analysis.

    IV. The Dialectic between Structure and Strategy

    a) The Dualism of Structure and Strategy

    Jessops approach is predicated on causal mechanisms and multiple determinations. It is

    predicated also on the presupposition of an ideal subject against which he officially proclaims.

    This subject is created ex nihilo.Jessops contribution to regulation theory emphasises capital as

    an bergreifendes Subjekt.

    For Jessop, Marxist theorising is not predicated on the real movement of class antagonism and

    the constituting movement of class struggle but, rather, on the contention that the real world is

    a world of contingently realised natural necessities (Jessop 1988, p. 8). The notion of

    contingency is of vital importance for Jessops attempted Marxist reformulation of neo -

    liberalism. It allows him to define a structurally complex world of systems and institutions within

    which atomized social subjects pursue their interests. Fundamentally, class antagonism is

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    understood in terms of competing social groups. Each of these groups occupies a particular class

    position vis-a-vis structure. The dual perspective of structural determination and class position

    (Jessop 1985) fails to recognise structures as implicit in the form of class relations. For Jessop,

    structures connote a system of causal mechanisms which provide social spaces for human

    activities. While these activities are vital for the reproduction of structures, the structural

    framework is seen as existing independently from human relations. Human relations appear

    merely as attendant upon structural laws.

    The world of structures is said to be complex because of its division into different regions, each

    having its own causal power and liabilities. Further, these regions are said to involve hierarchies,

    with some regions emergent from others but reacting back on them. Each region is itself

    stratified, comprising not only a level of real causal mechanisms and liabilities but also the levels

    on which such powers are actualised and/or- can be empirically examined (Jessop 1988).

    Jessops reformulation of the base-superstructure metaphor and of descriptive sociology

    associated with Poulantzas takes for granted the separation of social relations into distinctive

    structural systems. It also seeks to proliferate these structures by dividing basic structures into

    stratified subsystems. These subsystems, as will be shown below, are said to have their own

    distinct determinations, logics and laws, subduing and undermining resistance to capitalist


    How does Jessop conceptualise, or better, reformulate the Marxian idea of the enchanted and

    perverted world of capitalism (Marx) ? Jessop does not deny that there is an inner relation

    between different social systems. However, and in contradistinction to approaches predicated

    on the notion of an antagonistic constitution of social relations, Jessop thematises this unity in

    terms of a positivist social theory. The unity between different systems is founded on the notion

    of natural necessities. The sui generis operation of social systems is understood as contingently

    realising the natural necessities of capitalism. Jessop avoids providing any answers to the

    question as to the constitution of these necessities. The necessities are assumed to be naturaI

    necessities. The determination of natural remains unexplained. And yet, the notion of natural

    necessities is of crucial importance for what Jessop describes as bis realist ontological approach

    (see Jessop 1988) [5]. As will be argued below, Jessops realist ontology is predicated on the

    notion that the real defies analysis. Before explaining this further, Jessops dialectic between

    structure and strategy needs to be clarified in more detail. Jessop has to account for the fact

    that the capitalist system moves. This leads him to introduce, on an empirical level. the notion of

    many subjects. We are thus confronted with the notions of, on the one band, a sui
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    generis operation of different regions, and, on the other, of a plurality of empirically observable

    subjects. The dualism between structural determination and many subjects destroys the Marxian

    notion of a contradictory constitution of social relations since human relations are understood as

    external from structural determination. The notion of many subjects is incomprehensible

    because it is premised on the concept of natural necessities which exist independently from, and

    whose development is not limited to, human existence. The positivist concept of natural

    necessities connotes a thing-like structure which determines social relations. As a consequence,

    the concept of class dissolves into the pluralist notion of interest-groups, each of which relates to

    emergent structural ensembles in its own way. Jessops pluralist reformulation of the Marxist

    notion of class is not uncommon in the Marxist tradition. In the days of the DIAMA T-style

    Marxism of the Stalin years, social development was seen as being determined by technological

    development. The irony of Jessops approach is that his updating of Marxism reintroduces an

    understanding of history in terms of an adaptation of social relations to the functional

    requirements of the productive forces [6]. While Jessop proclaims against such an interpretation

    of his views, his dualism between natural necessity and many subjects is complicit in the

    reintroduction of old-style orthodoxy.

    b) Causal Mechanisms and Social Conflict

    If one were to follow Jessops notion of thesui generis operation of different systems founded on

    natural necessities, how would one be able to understand the contingent realisation of

    capitalist reproduction ? The first answer to this question is that this realisation cannot be

    conceptualised because the notion of contingency prohibits any grasp on the real movement of

    capitalist development. However, according to Jessop, the scientific mind can, nevertheless,

    reveal tendential causal mechanisms whose outcome depends on specific initial conditions as

    well as on the contingent interaction among tendencies and countertendencies (Jessop 1988, p.

    9). Tendencies, such as the tendency of the rate of profit to fall, and countertendencies, such as

    the countertendencies to the tendency of the rate of profit to fall, comprise different,

    substantially unconnected mechanisms of the abstract structure of capitalism. These

    mechanisms operate within the economic domain. Tendencies and countertendencies, although

    externally related to each other, stand to each other in a relation of interdependency, thus

    reciprocally transforming their sui generis operation. The articulation as between tendencies and

    countertendencies establish the laws of motion of capitalism. The unfolding of these laws

    provide causal mechanisms. These mechanisms establish the natural necessities of capitalist
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    reproduction in terms of structural moments which define the framework of social actions.

    Structural moments are both constraining and facilitating in regard to the interests of social

    subjects. The laws themselves are understood to be underdetermined. The results of capitalist

    reproduction do not follow the unfolding of these laws because these laws need to be activated

    in specific conjunctural conditions. Thus, while there are causal mechanisms, the actual results

    of these mechanisms depend on empirical conditions which, as was reported above, defy

    conceptualisation. Jessop denies that there is a single objective logic of capitalist development

    which transcends all particularities (Jessop 1988/1991). He deduces from this denial the

    separation of abstract theory from real results, that is, from empirical data. He insists that the

    development of capitalism is always mediated through historically specific institutional forms,

    regulatory institutions and norms of conduct, such as the wage relations, forms of competition,

    monetary emission, the state, the international commercial and financial system and the norms

    of conduct and modes of calculation which correspond to these institutional forms, etc. (Jessop

    1988/1991, p. 151). Jessop fails to show how this list can be integrated conceptually and how it

    can be applied to concrete analysis. Further, the mediating elements of historical development

    are dependent on human agency at the same time as they stand above, and are thus not limited

    to, human agency. The upshot is a system of natural structures which define the structural

    framework within which social conflict unfolds. The social conflict is construed in terms of its

    functionality, that is, as a means of reinforcing the status quo. Conflict is understood as a

    creative means of balancing and hence maintaining a society. It helps to create and modify

    norms, and assures the continuance of the system of natural necessities under changed

    conditions. Thus, the theory of regulation is, for Jessop, concerned with the modus vivendiof a

    complex process of mutual adjustment and accomodation within and among different institutions

    in empiricaIly observable conjunctures.

    c) Rack to the Closure and Positivism of determinist Sociology

    Jessops conjunctural reformulation of the notion of the relative autonomy dwells on the idea of

    intermediate concepts[7]. These are seen as being necessary if the gap between generic and

    specific analysis is to be bridged. What is taken for granted, here, is a dualistic separation of the

    generic from the specific, since, otherwise, there would be no gap to bridge. However, the net

    resuIt of this reformulation is not sufficient because it merely reproduces the problems of the

    base-superstructure metaphor in sociological terms. This is so because the conjuncturaI

    approach has to identify key variables, such as technological development from mass assembly
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    lines to new technology or shifting articulations of the economy and politics, which make

    everything clear. The identification of key variables abuts on to a determinism and by doing so

    marginalises class from the analysis. The conjunctural analysis makes a methodological principle

    out of the notion of multiple determinations. so permitting a sociological analysis in terms of the

    separation of social life into different distinct economic and political features. For example, the

    state-system can adopt specifically fascist or authoritarian or bourgeois-liberal or fordist or

    post-fordist forms. The idea of form as a species of something more generic has underpinned

    both DIAMA T-style conceptions of general laws which have to be applied to specific social

    instances and the conjunctional approach which focuses on intermediate concepts to bridge the

    gap between the abstract level of general laws and their concrete application. The concrete is

    not seen as a mode of existence of social relations but, rather, as a specific articulation of more

    general laws of natural necessity. The consequence of this understanding is that the approach

    can identify static structures only because human relations appear merely attendent upon

    structural laws. Further, the identification of key variables not only reinforces the idea of

    structural laws but provides, also, a sociology of interconnected features without being able to

    specify the theoretical relationships between the various elements of the supposed concrete

    articulation of structures is, for example, the form of Post-Fordism. Theory becomes non-binding

    and arbitrary. This is so because the dualist separations of a fetishised world - the separations of

    struggle from structure and of one region of society from another are not called into question

    but taken for granted, as the principle of social thought. The separation between structure and

    struggle entails a deterministic conceptualisation of capital in that capital becomes a structure of

    inescapable lines of development, subordinating social practice to predetermined laws.

    In response to his critics, Jessop reasserts that his approach includes the class struggle and that

    proper attention is given to its movement. And at the same rime, he insists emphatically that

    capital is not class struggle (Jessop 1991). How can one understand these conflicting

    statements ? For Jessop, the structure-strategy dialectic does not separate struggle form

    structure but shows their complex forms of interaction. The dialectics between structure and

    struggle is construed in terms of system theorys conflict theory, so making the disarticulation of

    structure and struggle the methodological principle of his approach. For Jessop, the real world of

    capitalism is subject to change through the sui generis operation of different regions whose

    articulation is dependent on, but not limited to, the action of social subjects. Jessops conception

    of social development indicates a degree of voluntarism which, however. is limited by the dualist

    conception of structure and struggle : that is. it is restricted by the existence of objective laws

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    and thus by an objectively given range of options. The term strategy is based upon the

    recognition of structurally-given conditions. Jessop uses the term strategy as a concept with

    which to grasp the subjective notion of decision-taking and the importance of subjective action

    within history. Jessops voluntarist approach is a product of his disarticulation between structure

    and class struggle. This disarticulation leads to a deterministic understanding of social

    development in which obeisance may be paid to class struggle, but what really counts is the

    inescapable lines of tendency and logic of direction established by the objective laws of capitalist

    development. The activation of these laws depends on human subjects operating within a

    structurally defined environment. Jessops failure to understand the contradictory unity of

    structure and struggle leads him to separate human agency from structure, and conversely,

    structure from human agency. This dualism underlies his voluntarist approach to subjective

    action within history : voluntarism and determinism have always been happy enough to sec

    structures as constraining action and action as, complementarily, the limit of the effectivity of

    social structures. As a consequence, there is, in Jessop, a dichotomy between a determinist

    conception of capitalist development and a voluntarist conception of social action. Jessop

    attempts to resolve this dichotomy by declaring the real results of capitalist development to be

    contingent [8]. The positivism, structuralism and voluntarism of Jessops approach is

    characterized by an understanding of class struggle as a means of reproducing the

    structures [9].

    Jessop maintains that the transition from one form, such as Fordism, to another form, such as

    Post-Fordism, depends on class struggle. He emphasises, however, there there is no objective

    developmental logic of capital that inevitably and painlessly ensures passage from one regime to

    another (Jessop 1983). The class struggle seems thus to be separated from its mode of

    existence and becomes merely one factor amongst others in the contingent and relative

    historical development [10]. This is so because the real is understood to be indeterminable

    since the real is the outcome of an infinite number of empirical factors, so making capitalist

    development contingent and relative. This, however, means that the real world of social conflict

    cannot be conceptualised because of its contingent character and its infinite plurality of

    determinations. As a consequence, capitalist exploitation of labour in the real world of

    empirically observable facts defies analysis. While the analysis is said to focus on the concrete,

    the latters movement cannot be conceptualized. This contradiction that is, the contradiction

    between determinism and voluntarism - is resolved by Jessop in an irrational and romantic

    fashion. The concrete is seen as being determined by capital as a transhistorical subject. Before
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    dwelling on this romantic and irrational conception of capital in more detail, attention is focused

    on Jessops destruction of the Marxian notion of class antagonism.

    d) Pluralism, Determinism and Sociologism

    Jessop understands the Marxian notion of capitalist social relations as a means of articulating

    different systems and, on a lower level of abstraction, of articulating different laws of motion.

    The distinction between different systems and laws is already problematic since it destroys the

    notion of the inner relationship between different phenomena. The inner nature is abstractly

    conceived in terms of the obscure concept of natural necessities. The concrete is construed in

    terms of a combination of causal mechanisms and natural necessities. Conceptually

    mechanisms and natural necessities are not connected with each other. The concrete is the

    result of contingent developments based upon a pluralist diversity of social conflicts which are

    merely constrained and/or facilitated by the structural selectivity inscribed in structures. The

    conditions of the realisation of a mode of articulation remain indeterminate and contingent. As a

    consequence, the articulation of different regions cannot be conceptualised because its

    realization is a chance discovery(Fundsache). The empiricism of Jessops approach goes hand-

    in-hand with its formalism.

    Jessops approach is characterized by the attempt to derive social conflict from pre -formed

    categories, so subordinating history to structural laws. The historical constitution of these laws is

    presupposed in terms of a logical construct.

    It is clear that Jessops approach entails a systematic attempt to destroy the conceptual links

    which permit an analysis of the mode of existence of class antagonism. The laws of capitalist

    accumulation are not conceived of as a mode of existence of class antagonism but, rather, as a

    structural framework which determines the empirically observable class conflict in the real world.

    However, class conflict is seen as playing an important part in the reproduction of capitalist

    development insofar as the activation of the causal mechanisms of capitalist reproduction

    requires active human agents.

    Jessop argues that capitalist domination is realised through an emergent and impersonal and

    quasi-natural network of social connections. This network is reproduced by human agents and,

    according to Jessop, could never be understood without referring to their actions. He insists,

    however, that it would be wrong to conceive of class struggle as the starting point because class

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    struggle is one of the mechanisms in and through which capital accumulation is analysed. The

    understanding of the class struggle as a mechanism of capitalist reproduction calls for objective

    sociological criteria with which to establish the class relevance of social antagonism (Jessop

    1991). The class character of social subjects is defined in terms of their relation to the value

    form. For Jessop, the key to deciphering the structural framework of class antagonism is the

    concept of surplus value (ibid., p. 148). It is the dominance of the value form in a system of

    generalized commodity production which is seen as determining the conceptual identity of

    classes, the nature of class relations, the forms of class struggle and the totalizing dynamic of

    class struggle and competition within the capitalist mode of production (ibid.).

    For Jessop, the value forrn is better understood as a meta-form (ibid.). This notion is founded on

    Jessops genus - species distinction. The value meta-form describes the structural framework

    within which different forms of value, such as productive, financial, commercial capital, compete

    with each other. They compete with each other within the circuit of capital whose structure is

    abstractly defined by the value meta-form. Within the circuit of capital we find, according to

    Jessop, different logics of capital. These logics connote different accumulation strategies of

    competing capital fractions. The value meta-form does not fully determine the course of

    accumulation but only the institutional logic and directional dynamic of capitalism, in itself

    indeterminate. The value form thus in Jessops view needs to be determined at more concrete

    levels of analysis, those of the competitive relation between different capital logics and class

    struggle. The value form needs to be overdetermined by an economic class struggle in which

    the balance of class forces is moulded by many factors beyond the value form itself (Jessop

    1983, p. 90).

    The value form is understood not as a process in and through which social relations appear in

    the form of relations between things, but as a thing-like structure which determines social

    relations. This inversion underlies the empiricism of Jessops approach, according to which it is

    contingent institutional forms and political conflicts which determine the development of value

    relations and the course of accumulation (Clarke 1991, p. 49 fn 24). The value meta-form

    defines the coherence of the capitalist mode of production, a coherence which is achieved, in

    practice, through the contingent forces of social conflict in the real world.

    The value meta-form is seen merely as constraining, externally, the room for manoeuvre of

    different capital logics. The conception of the value form as a value metaform is tautological.

    This is so because the determination of the value meta-form in the real world of contesting

    social forces presupposes the practical existence of the value meta-form, and vice

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    versa. However, according to Jessop, the value meta-form is seen as external to its own

    determination. This destruction of the Marxian notion of the inner nature of capital is

    complemented by the empiricisrn of Jessops approach. For Jessop what realy counts is the

    observable pluralism of the contest over income resources. The category of labour is conceived

    of in terms of the wage relation which is founded on nothing but itself. Capitalist exploitative

    relations are understood in terms of a pluralist distribution struggle over income between the

    working class and different capital logics. However, the understanding of social conflict in terms

    of empirically observable facts ofdistributive struggles destroys an understanding ofcapital as

    an exploitative social relation. Jessops empiricism is complemented by his technicist reading

    ofthe law ofvalue. This law is understood as governing the allocation oflabour-time among

    different productive activities. The law ofvalue is understood as standing above the class


    Jessop destroys an understanding ofthe capital-labour relation as an exploitative relation

    because he construes class antagonism as external tothe trajectory dynamic ofcapitalism.

    Both capital and labour are conceived as human bearers ofstructural laws which stand above

    the social conflict. By putting his argument in this way, Jessop treats capital and labour as both

    victims ofstructural laws and as creative powers transforming structural forms within the

    framework ofnatural necessity. However, this is not tosay that the notion ofthe real power

    ofcompetitive struggle and class conflict is conceived ofin terms merely ofan equilibrium

    between the social contestants. The combination ofstructural laws and sites ofcontest

    reintroduces capital as a transhistorical subject whose dynamic logic is theoretically

    presupposed and whose realisation is empirically observable. Within the relation ofcapital and

    labour, the class struggle is subordinated tothe basic forms and dynamics ofcapital as the

    dominant force (bergreifende Subjekt) (Jessop 1991. p. 165). What this, however, means is

    that the social conflict is understood merely in terms ofa theory ofcapital regulation. As Jessop

    puts it, the multification ofinstitutional forms and regulative mechanisms ... actually create

    significant barriers to a general attack on the capital relation by fragmenting and disorganizing

    opposition and resistance and/or channelling it along particular paths where it threatens legs

    harm to the core institutions ofcapitalism (Jessop 1988, p. 43). In sum, class conflict is merely

    an essential moment in the expanded reproduction ofcapital. The class conflict does not as such

    create the totality of nor does it give rise to [capitalisms] dynamic trajectory (Jessop 1991, p.

    154). This is because the conceptual identity ofclasses is given by the capital relation itself

    rather than being constrained by classes which shape the capital relation (ibid.). The capital

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    relation stands above class relations. For Jessop, it would be more accurate to conclude that

    class antagonism arises because ofthe inherent quality ofthe capital-labour relation than that

    this relation is antagonistic because ofthe contingent occurence ofclass struggle and/or

    competition (Jessop 1991, pp. 1501). Jessop thus insists that capital is not an antagonistic

    social relation and that the antagonism ofclasses arises only in the real world ofmultiple

    determination. The Marxist notion ofclass antagonism is thus destroyed in favour ofa

    sociological conception ofempirically observable modalities ofsocial conflict. What sense can be

    made ofJessops concept capital-labour relation? The capital relation defines the natural

    necessity ofcapitalism in terms ofabstract structures, causal mechanisms and capital as an

    ideal subject. While proclaiming against the notion ofclass subjectivity, Jessop reintroduces

    capital as an ideal subject. The understanding ofcapital as an bergreifendes Subjektmeans,

    fundamentally, that the articulation ofcausal mechanisms in the real world ofmultiple

    determinations is achieved by the subjectivity ofcapital. While the world is conceived as a world

    ofcontingently realized natural necessities (Jessop 1988), the notion ofcontingency relates

    only tothe ability ofcapital to achieve a sustained reproduction on the basis ofa successful

    accumulation strategy. Jessops structuralist and posivist approach finds it difficuIt to explain

    how social conflict and structures interrelate. His equation ofclass struggle with capitalist

    strategies is a characteristic response tothis problem.

    e) Many Subjects and the Return of Idealism

    For Jessop, the real world comprises a complex synthesis of multiple determinations. The

    synthesis is seen as being achieved through a process without a subject (Jessop

    1985,1988/1991). However, for Jessop, this does not mean that there are no active subjects. On

    the contrary, the actualization ofthe natural necessity ofcapitalism is achieved through a

    plurality ofcontesting forces : any natural necessity ofcapitalism must be reproduced through

    social practices which are always (and inevitably) definite social practices, articulated more or

    less closely as moments in specific modes of regulation (Jessop 1988. p. 34). Jessop seeks to

    resolve the contradiction between the notion of a process without a subject and the subjectivity

    of capital (capitalisthe subject: Jessop 1991, p. 150)) by differentiating capital, as mentioned

    above, into a series of logics which are defined in terms of different allocation interests.

    Different social subjects pursue different interests, the realisation of which depends on the

    facilitating framework of structural moments. Each of these logics is in competition with each

    other, so permitting a pluralist struggle between different capital interests. There is no logic of

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    capital but a series of logics with a family resemblance, corresponding to different modes of

    regulation and accumulation regimes (ibid.). The family resemblance mentioned by Jessop

    connotes the notion of capital as an bergreifendes Subjekt. Alternative accumulation

    strategies connote the activities of different capital subjects seeking to establish a specific

    regime of accumulation within the limits of the value form. The term accumulation strategy

    indicates a degree of voluntarism which, however, is limited by the dualist conception of

    structure and struggle : that is, it is restricted by the existence of objective laws (or : abstract

    tendencies) and thus by an objectively given range of options. The term strategy is based upon

    the recognition of structurally-given conditions. The dual perspective of structural determination

    and class position (Jessop 1985, p. 344) connotes the power of social subjects to modify the

    abstract tendencies of capitalism in and through a stable articulation between the invariant

    elements of capitalism and the variant elements emergent in different specific forms such as

    Fordism and/or Post-Fordism (see Jessop 1988, p. 34). The thing-like structure of the value form

    plays the role of an external economic structure which passively defines the limits within which

    pluralist social subjects and historical contingency can determine the course of accumulation.

    f) Conflict Theory and Empiricism

    How does an accumulation strategy succeed ? The term accumulation strategy is founded on

    the notion that the social body is incoherent. The segmented parts of this body have no unit y

    until they are coordinated into a strategy by a somehow hidden agency of condensation. This

    agency cannot be theorized because the result of the dualist movement between structural

    determination and class position is said to be contingent. The only indicator as to the character

    of this agency is contained in Jessops pluralist conception of social conflict based on the relative

    autonomy of the economic, political and ideological domains. For Jessop, the realization of

    capitalist development is dependent on the action of different social subjects whose class

    positions comprise distinct modes of calculation, patterns of strategic conduct and forms of

    struggle. This means that the transition to, for example, Post-Fordism is a resuIt of interactions

    on many different terrains and among many different forces. The relative success or failure of a

    strategy is seen as depending on unrecognized structural conditions of action [11].

    In order to gain purchase on the systemic conditions of action, Jessop distinguishes between

    broadly four structural levels. These levels are, first, the empirically observable regularities in

    social relations ; second, the basic forms of social relations which together comprise a social

    formation ; third, the network of institutions and organisations comprising a social order ; and.
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    lastly, the structural constraints and conjuncturaI opportunities provided by structural

    development for social actors (Jessop 1988, p. 38). According to Jessop, the first level, i.e. the

    empirically observable regularities in social relations, does not offer much purchase on the

    systemic conditions of action. This is so because it does not provide direct evidence concerning

    the basic structures as they resuIt from changing combinations of real mechanisms and

    contingent circumstances. The second level, i.e. the basic forms of social relations is too abstract

    to give much purchase on strategic conduct. The third level, i.e. the network of institutions,

    gives purchase on strategic conduct but it needs to be specified further so as to bring out its

    strategic relevance. It is the fourth level which is crucial. Structures need to be examined

    relationally, that is, in terms of their structural constraints and conjuncturaI opportunities which

    emerge from the strategic orientation of social forces (ibid.).

    The mutual conditioning of strategies and variant structures implies that regulation theory has to

    analyse the correspondence between the strategic selectivity inscribed in a given mode of

    regulation, including the modes of calculation of strategic conduct adopted by social forces to

    sustain and/or to transform a given mode of regulation. The notion of structural selectivity

    connotes the objectively given range of options available for acting social subjects seeking to

    impose some sort of institutional coherence and direction upon a confusing myriad of competing

    interests. This is a pluralist conception of social conflict based upon structurally defined

    conjunctural moments. These moments involve such elements which can be altered by a given

    agent (or set of agents) following their strategic line. Structural ensembles and conjunctural

    moments are seen as complex and changeable. The boundaries and activities of structural

    ensembles are defined as unstable and the world of strategies is seen as pluralistic and

    conjunctural (Jessop 1988). In order to get a hold on the contingent realization of capitalist

    development, Jessop advises us to analyse the complex relationship between structural

    selectivity inscribed in structures and the structural transformations produced through strategic

    interactions of human agents.

    How can one understand the emergence of definite social practices which articulate the

    structural selectivity in strategic terms ? According to Jessop, the same structural clement can

    operate as a structural constraint for some agent(s) at the same rime as it presents itself to

    other agent(s) as a "conjunctural opportunity" (Jessop 1988. p. 38). For Jessop, this means that

    a scientist has to concentrate on the need of capital in order to be able to assess the strategic

    relevance of atomized social agents or groups of agents. However, the need of capital bas to be

    assessed strategically in relation to complex conjonctures rather than formally in terms of an

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    abstract, purely economic, circuit of capital (Jessop 1988/1991, p. 155). How can one define the

    need of capital in conjunctural terms ? Since the concrete cannot be theorized (see above), the

    need of capital can only be assessed in terms ofa pre-formed and functionalist conception of

    the natural necessities of the capitalist system. As already discussed, Jessop sees different social

    structures as merelyconstraining and facilitating. This notion is bound up with an endorsement

    of the natural necessity of capitalism in terms of structural laws. These laws stand above the

    class struggle and entail the existence of capital as anbergreifendes Subjekt. Jessops attempt

    to gain purchase on the structure-transforming actions of social subjects reintroduces the notion

    of capital as an bergreifendes Subjekt. This notion destroys the concept of pluralist social

    subjects which was introduced in order to avoid an approach predicated on the notion of a

    transhistorical subject. For Jessop, structures are explicit reference points for strategic

    calculations and comprise partly recognised and partially unacknowledged sets of structural

    constraints and conjunctural opportunities. In order to understand the realisation of capital

    reproduction in the real world, Jessop urges us to focus on the need of capital, a need which is

    already presupposed abstractly. As a consequence, Jessops notion of the action of social

    subjects is not only predicated on a sort of individualistic reformulation of the Marxian notion of

    class struggle but also, and as a mater of entirely distinct theorising, on a sort of idealist

    reformulation of capital as a transhistorical subject. All social subjects are seen as mere

    participants in the global capitalist subject. Social conflicts are thus seen as facilitating forces

    which reproduce the capitalist system in the real world of opportunity. Social conflict is thus

    construed as a creative force. The structurally transforming action of social subjects is creative

    in that it articulates structural opportunities in practical terms, so realizing the dynamic direction

    and institutional logic of capital in the real world.

    g) Theory : An End in itself

    However, even if one were to accept Jessops reformulation of Marxism, it remains still unclear

    how the incoherent body of pluralist struggles can be transformed into a definite strategy. In

    order to understand how capitalism is reproduced we must examine the structural selectivity

    inscribed in structures (Jessop 1988/1991. p. 159). How can one understand structural

    selectivity? Jessop tackles this problem by stressing that it would be wrong to reduce a

    structural category to, and/or derive it from, a strategic category, and to derive a single strategy

    from a given structure (Jessop 1988, p. 41). This is so because structural categories belong to

    the realm of the system which is disconnected from the concrete realm of social practices and

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    because there are always competing strategies. Further, the relationship between different

    structural elements have only a relative unity. Lastly, the outcome of the dialectic between

    structure and strategy is always contingent. Still, what constitutes selectivity ? It seems there is

    no answer to this question and to the question of how the reciprocal transformation of structures

    and strategies is realised in the real world of capitalism. This, however, means that theory loses

    its truth criteria. Jessop insists that structural constraints and conjunctural opportunities emerge

    from the strategic orientation of social forces (Jessop 1988, p. 38). In turn, however, this means

    that structural selectivity is defined by and remains at the mercy of- the contingently emerging

    transformation of social reality. This, further, implies that the notion of structural selectivity

    defies conceptualization and that it can be observed only empirically. As in Critical Realism (see

    Gunn 1991a,b), Jessops argument comprises a vicious circularity of presuppositions. He

    presupposes structural selectivity as conditioning the action of social subjects and then he

    presupposes that structural constraints emerge from the strategic conduct of social subjects.

    Each is supposed to make sense of the other. In other words, the real world lies outside theorys

    grasp. Jessops realist ontologyturns against itself as much as, therefore, it offers no concept

    of the real. The upshot of Jessops attempt to reformulate Marxism is a nominalist and

    normative theory. Jessops (1986a, 1990) flirtation with Luhmann is logically conclusive as it

    faciliates the destruction of Marxist theory in favour of a descriptive sociology concerned with

    system maintenance.

    If one were to follow Jessop, all theory would be able to achieve is to say that the real world is

    changing within a framework of structurally defined parameters whose concrete implications

    defy conceptualisation. According to Jessop we know that there are different subjects who se

    activities are more or less coordinated, whose activities meet more or less resistance from other

    forces, and whose strategies are pursued within a structural context which is both constraining

    and facilitating (Jessop 1988, p. 43). We know also that there are signifiant barriers to a general

    attack on the capital relation (ibid.), that there is a real scope for class struggle and that the

    success of the nth strategy depends on its complementarity to all other relevant strategies

    within the overall structural ensemble (ibid. pp. 42,43). This body of knowledge, however, is

    insubstantial because of the complex web of cont ingencies. Any conceptualisation of the real is

    doomed to failure because the real world is a world of discovery and of contingently emergent

    realities. Regulation is, consequently, defined as a study of the complex process of mutual

    adjustment and accomodation within and among different institutions (Jessop 1988/1991, p.

    152). The research project of regulation theory degenerates iota a merely empirical study of

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    institutional intersections ; and a research project lacking a conceptual framework is a

    contradiction in terms.

    h) The Retum of the State

    On the assomption that the only purchase on the real world is some sort of empiricist

    descriptive sociology, how is it possible to comprehend, despite the complex jungle of multiple

    social forces, a definite accumulation strategy ? Jessop insists that there are a number of

    alternative accumulation strategies expressing different fractional interests and alliances. There

    is thus a need for an external power to impose regulative mechanisms upon the plurality of

    contesting capital logics. This power is the state. Jessop brings the state back in as the

    totalizing regulative institution. For Jessop (1983), the pattern of accumulation is uItmately

    determined by the accumulation strategy adopted by the state. However, there is no unique

    accumulation strategy available to the state but, rather, a range of alternative strategies. Does

    the state therefore simply take an arbitrary decision ? To understand which accumulation

    strategy is adopted by the state requires an analysis of political conflicts through which strategic

    issues are resolved (see Jessop 1983). The political conflicts between different accumulation

    strategies is discussed in terms of different hegemonic projects (Jessop 1983,1985). Jessop

    claims that the interplay between structural development and hegemonic strategies provide

    mechanisms that melt different social systems together, so permitting a corresponding social

    cohesion of ideological, political and economic patterns.

    V. Multiple Determinations and Thatcherism

    Jessop understood Thatcherism as a hegomonic project which breaks with the past by

    developing towards Post-Fordism (see Jessop 1986b). Thatcherism was seen as an interplay of

    trial-and-error policies which concide with relative autonomous forces of the market (ibid., p.

    8). Jessops approach replays the determinist-voluntarist dichotomy so typical of structuralist

    approaches. Social reality is, in Jessop, constituted by the independent logics of political and

    ideological domains, forcing the scientific mind to follow, in descriptive terms, the strategic line

    of capital in the face of various dilemmas, risks, uncertainties and complexities, emergent

    strategies, trial and error techniques etc. (Jessop et al. 1988, p. 8). The articulation between

    different complex determinations was achieved by Thatcherism. As a consequence "Thatcherism"

    was reified as a subject which stands above class relations. This is, given the insistence that

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    complex historical phenomena are best analysed as a complex resultant of multiple

    determinations (ibid., p. 53), a surprising move. Thatcherism was said to have known

    instinctively that there could be no way back to the old Keynesian welfare state (Jessop 1986b,

    p. 8). How did Thatcherism "know" ?

    Jessop (et al. 1988) emphasized the development and specifity of the emergent strategic line

    pursued by Thatcher (p. 8). His work focused on actual strategies and policies and their ad hoc

    emergent character (p. 8). Since Thatcherism was a strategic line (p. 9) and since there is no

    single causal mechanism determining social development (p. 53), political events need to be

    seen as a complex product of many different causes and circumstances (p. 29). In order to

    understand what happens, an adequate account which searches for deeper significances of

    historical development must establish the mediations between underlying and more immediate

    causes (p. 29). What needs to be done ? Since the theory is deemed to be correct, Jessop

    asserted that there are many Thatcherisms (p. 9). This deeper knowledge derived both from a

    priori theoretical arguments and from our post hoc reflections on changes in the strategic line

    adopted by Thatcherism (p. 9). The notion of Thatcherism was thus based on the idea that the

    real cannot be determined since there are many causes and an infinite number of factors.

    However, Jessop destroys the interesting notion of many Thatcherisms by declaring that

    Thatcherism has adopted a strategic line. If there were many Thatcherisms, how, then, could

    one depict Thatcherisms strategic line ? A strategic line evolved from the strategic vision of

    Thatcherism (p. 11). This vision had given direction and coherence to policies in the face of

    structural dilemmas, political failures, emerging contradictions and resistance. The notion of a

    multiplicity of diverse factors was further undermined by Jessops economic determinism. He

    argued that Thatcherisms vision was determined economically. This is so because one needs to

    have an understanding of the decisive economic nucleus of hegemony in order to sec the

    structural source of power (p. 16). Did Thatcherism "know" because it expressed the functionally

    presupposed need of capital ?

    Jessop supplies a theoretical maze. On the one band, there is no single cause, whilst, on the

    other, the economic is determining. On the one band, Jessop isolates different phenomena from

    the social whole, and, on the other, he seeks to reconnect phenomena in an external way. On

    the one hand, Jessop proposes the separation of social existence into different structural

    regions, and, on the other, he seeks to articulate the specific interconnections ofthese regions.

    On the one band, Jessop claims that there are underlying laws ofmotion, and, on the other, he

    introduces subjective mechanisms for these laws actualization. Jessop urges that the real is

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    indeterminable since it is mediated by an infinite number of factors. At the same time, he

    introduces a subject (Thatcherism) which leads the UK towards Post-Fordism. Jessops

    assessment of the need of capital is not only based upon a theoretical maze but also on a

    tautological description ofsocial reality. First of all the outward appearance of reality is taken for

    granted (multiple causes), and then it is in the light of this outward appearance of reality that

    social development is assessed. By attempting to grasp the development of the British state in

    this way, his analysis of Thatcherism proliferates structures which are not only static and

    fetishized but who se theoretical status remains unclear.

    Given this, what sense can be attached to the notion of a left alternative to the (thatcherist)

    transition to Post-Fordism ? In general terms, an alternative strategy must take into account the

    constraining and facilitating selectivity of structures. Different calculating subjects are differently

    located in relation to structural constraint and opportunity and they calculate their strategies

    over different time horizons and/or spatial boundaries (Jessop 1988, p. 42). A left alternative

    must learn from Thatcherism because it must take into account current changes and adapt its

    strategy to them (Jessop 1988/1991, p. 163). Further, the viability of alternative strategies

    depends on their strategic conduct over a more or legs extensive social terrain, embracing

    various fields of action. Any viable alternative strategy has to enter into different types of

    alliances with other social forces (Jessop 1988, p. 42). The upshot is a left hegemonic project,

    installating an accumulation regime based on party spirit (ibid., p. 50). The party is the place in

    which social forces acquire consciousness, thereby transcending individualism and the corporate

    interests of specific groups. It is through the parties that classes become the state [12]. He

    affirms the view of Haeusler/Hirsch (1987), according to which the party system plays a key

    role in mediating between the state and individuals and institutions in society (Jessop 1988, pp.

    50-1). However, the aggregation of man y pluralistic, antagonistic interests in society and

    pressures of electoral competition involves that the parties of government both facilitate and

    legitimate relatively coherent state actions concerned with societal reproduction (ibid. p. 51).

    What needs to be done ? In the absence of a revolutionary party, revolution has to be

    postponed sine dei(see Holloway 1991,1992). By implication, Marxist theory has to

    accommodate to the conjuncturaI opportunities created by structural selectivity. Marxist theory

    has to become a more sophisticated theory of capitalist regulation so as to effect a leftist

    refashioning of the real world of capitalism. Unfortunately, given the complexities and

    contingencies of the real world and the systemic constraints on action, Jessop and his co-authors

    refrain from providing detailed recommendations for the Labour Party or the Left. Their concern
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    is rather to outline the broad issues that any successful left strategy must confront (Jessop et al.

    1987). Altogether this outline is restricted to the parameters of existing reality. The Left has to

    confront the existing post-fordist realities in order to articulate a viable hegemonic project and to

    ensure its popular appeal so as to reform the institutions of social administration in a fair and

    just way. In sum, the political implications of Jessops reformulation of regulation theory are that

    Marxism has to refrain from the scholarly work of negation [13] in favour of advising political

    groups as to the development of norms, modes of ca1culation and procedures which could gain

    popular support Marxism has to supply sociological knowledge concerning the conjunctural

    opportunities already inscribed in structural development. Marxism needs to assume the role of

    a political adviser. The political implication of Jessops approach is that of an opportunist politics

    of the conjuncture, aiming at effecting a leftist activation of natural necessities.

    VI. Conclusion

    Approaches such as Jessops, which are predicated on the disarticulation of structure and

    struggle, involve no internal connection between the political and the economic on the basis of

    the constitutive power of labour. The central methodological misunderstanding of such

    approaches is the separation of the social whole into different regions each of which is seen as

    having its formaI structure, its own laws and logic. Such approaches cannot take account of

    fundamental historical developments in and through the constitutive power of labour because

    labour plays no role in the internal logic of the different regions. Labour is separated from capital

    and is reduced to merely an empirical factor of a historical development which is both contingent

    and relative. Instead of investigating the constitution and forms of social materiality, such

    approaches raise the formal aspect of social existence (i.e. the fragmented character of society)

    to the level of an methodological principle. At the same time, these approaches are forced to

    introduce subjective notions, such as accumulation strategy or hegemonic project, so as to

    provide a link between perceived modalities of the states concrete existence (e.g. the fordist

    state) and its formal structure. These subjective notions are, in turn, constrained by the

    systemic rules and "natural necessities" of capitalism.

    Jessops approach is a typical response to the methodological misunderstanding of structuralism.

    He aims at giving greater weight to historical analysis by combining abstract theory with a

    theory of historical developments. The combination of the concrete with an abstract theoretical

    structure implies the modelling of social phenomena on to pre-formed concepts which for their

    part are placed at the mercy of the historical contingency they seek to render intelligible. In
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    other words the concepts stand above historical developments. An analysis which takes the

    fragmented character of bourgeois society for granted and which seeks to trace the causal

    interconnections of such fragments can not grasp their historical development because it refuses

    to risk the methodic assertion of the real in and through abstraction.

    An approach such as Jessops, turning as it does upon structural integration, is an approach

    which is complicit in the fetishisation of human relations as relations of things. Further, such an

    approach runs the risk of conceptual collapse. Thisis so because such an approach can not

    justify its concepts. For example, the assumption that the real world is divided into different

    regions raises the question of the interdependence, that is, the structural adequacy of different

    regions such as the political. Firstly, to what is the political adequate ; secondly, what

    determines the adequacy of the political ; thirdly, what is the criterion with which to define

    adequacy ? Only three solutions are possible. Firstly, the adequacy of the political is measured in

    terms of its output concerning the requirements of the economic. Such a solution opens the way

    for an economistic Marxism, the political superstructure arising from it however sophisticated a

    fashion the economic base. Such a view concentrates on the economic as the determining

    structure, thug making the political merely attendant upon the inescapable lines of economic

    development. The second solution is to introduce a new set of concepts with which to justify the

    first level of concepts. However, the new set of concepts needs to be justified itself, leading to

    the introduction of new concepts and so on. This solution reproduces the problem it claims to

    resolve through an infinite regress of metatheories (see Gunn 1989). The third solution is to

    abnegate a conceptual understanding in favour of a descriptive sociology of corresponding

    features among different subsystems. Such a solution sees the economic and the political as

    autonomous systems which generate causal interrelations through asui generis operation of

    their internal laws. As a consequence, theory must identify reciprocal elements which exist in

    different subsystems (e.g. mass production and demand management and the ideology of social

    consensus). No explanation can be given of how a reciprocal matrix of mutually supporting

    elements develops. The only possible explanation is to declare such a matrix to be a contingent

    articulation among different autonomous systems. This solution interprets historical development

    in terms of its more or legs close approximation to a model whose elements are not

    conceptualised but, rather, presupposed. The problem of justifying concepts is thereby avoided

    only because the historical development is understood to be contingent, thus allowing the

    concepts to be contingent and arbitrary themselves. Further the concepts can be readily justified

    on the basis of the real: it is what it is. Since, for example, we can observe the hegemonic

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    Aglietta 1979,A Theory of Capitalist Regulation, Verso : London.

    Agnoli 1990, Die Destruktion aIs Bestimmung des Gelehrten in drftiger Zeit, Konkret1/1990.

    Bonefeld 1987/1991, Reformulation of State Theory,Capital&Class n 33. reprinted in

    Bonefeld/Holloway (eds.) 1991.

    Bonefeld 1992, Social Constitution and the Form of the Capitalist State in Bonefeld / Gunn /

    Psychopedis 1992a. Bonefeld / Holloway (eds.) 1991. Post-Fordism and Social Form :A Marxist

    Dedate on the Post-Fordist State Macmillan : London.

    Bonefeld / Gunni (eds.) 1992a, Open Marxism Vol 1 : History and Dialectics, Psychopedis, Pluto

    Press : London.

    Bonefeld / Gunn (eds.) 1992b, Open Marxism Vol. II : Theory and Practice, Psychopedis, Pluto

    Press : London.

    Clarke 1983, Comments on Jessop,Kapitalistate 10/11, Berkeley.

    Clarke 1988 / 1991. Overaccumulation, Class Struggle and the Regulation

    Approach. Capital&Class, n 36, reprinted in Bonefeld / Holloway (ed.) 1991.

    Clarke 1990. New utopias for old : Fordist dreams and Post-Fordist

    fantasies. Capital&Class, n 42.

    Clarke 1991, Introduction to The State Debate, edited by Clarke, Macmillan : London 1991.

    Elster 1987, Making Sense of Marx, Cambridge University Press : Cambridge.

    Gunn 1989, Marxism and philosophy.Capital&Class. n037.

    Gunn 1991a. Reclaiming Experience,Science as Culture n 11.

    Gunn 1991 b. Marxism, Metatheory and Critique, in Bonefeld / Holloway 1991.

    Hall / Jaques (eds.) 1989, New Times, Lawrence and Wishart : London.

    Haeusler / Hirsch 1987, Regulation und Parteien im bergang zum "Post-Fordismus",Das

    Argument, n 165. Holloway 1988/1991, The Great Bear : Post-Fordism and Class

    Struggle,Capital&Class, n 36, reprinted in Bonefeld / Holloway (eds.) 1991.

    Holloway 1991, Capitalis Class Struggle, in Bonefeld / Holloway (eds.) 1991.

    Holloway 1992 Crisis, Fetishism, Class Composition, in Bonefeld / Gunn / Psychopedis (eds.)


    Jessop 1982, The Capitalist Store, Martin-Robertson : Oxford. Jessop 1983, Accumulation

    Strategies, State Forms and Hegemonie Projects,Kapitalistllte, n 10/11.

    Jessop 1985, Nicos Poulantzas : Marxist Theory and Political Strategy, Macmillan : London 1985.

    Jessop 1986a, The Economy, the State and the Law : Theories of Relative Autonomy and

    Autopoietic Closure,European University Institute, Florence 1986.

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    Jessop 1986b, Warum es keinen Kohlismus gibt,Links, 1/1986.

    Jessop 1988, Regulation Theories in Retrospect and Prospect,Staatsaufgaben, University of

    Bielefeld, Zentrum fur interdisziplinare Forschung, n 1, Bielefeld.

    Jessop 1988/1991, Regulation Theory, Post-Fordism and the State : More than a reply to

    Werner Bonefeld,Capital&Class, n 34, reprinted in Bonefeld/Holloway (eds.) 1991.

    Jessop 1991, Polar Bears and Class Struggle : Less than a Self-Criticism, in Bonefeld / Holloway

    (eds.) 1991.

    Jessop et al. 1987, Popular Capitalism, Flexible Accumulation and Lef1 Strategy,New Left

    Review. N 165. Jessop et al. 1988, Thatcherism, Polity : London.

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    Bureaucracy, in Sasson (ed.),Approaches to Gramsci, Writers and Readers, London.

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    Sasson 1987, Gral11scis Politics.Hutchingson : London

    [1] There is no distinctive British regulation school. in Britain, the only theoretical contribution to

    the RA has come from Bob Jessop. A popularisation of post-fordist ideas could be found in the

    pages of Marxism Today (see the collection of articles edited by Hall/Jaques 1989).

    [2] See the collection of articles edited by Bonefeld/Holloway 1991.

    [3] See Jessop 1983, 1985, 1986a, 1988, 1988/1991

    [4] The following part is heavily dependent on Clarke (1991) and. especially, Psychopedis


    [5] The notion of realist ontology is taken from R Bhaskar. Bhaskar insists to reassert the basic

    Marxist principle according to which the world is materialist and subject to change through the

    operation of economic, political and social structures which are dependent upon, but not limited

    to, human agency. Bhaskars jumble sale of ideas has been criticized by R. Gunn (1989, 1991).

    [6] On the connection between technological determinism and the post-fordist debate see

    Palaez/Holloway 1990/1991 and Clarke 1990.
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    [7] The following section is taken from the introduction to Bonefeld/Gunn/Psychopedis (eds.)


    [8] Voluntarism and determinism are theoretically complementary, bath expressions of the

    separation between class struggle and capital (Holloway 1991, p. 170/1 ; see also Bonefeld

    1987/1991, 1992 ; Clarke 1983.1991).

    [9] See Clarkes (1991) critique of Jessop.

    [10] See Psychopedis 1991.

    [11] As in Rational Choice Marxism (see Elster 1987, esp. ch. 1), subjects operate and calculate

    rationally and individually within a framework of unreeogniszed rules which they seek to

    transform through strategic conduct so as to maximize their fortunes.

    [12] Jessop (1988) refers affirmatively to the work of Migliaro and Misuraca (1982) and Sasson


    [13] Scholarly work is seen here, following Agnoli (1990), as a negative task.

    [14] See the contributions to the collection of articles edited by Bonefeld/Gunn/Psychopedis

    Open Marxism Vol 1 : History and Dialectics and Open Marxism Vol II : Theory and Practice.

    Pluto Press : London 1992.