Carlo Trigilia

Is democratic capitalism bound to disappear?

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Are current trends bringing about a convergence towards a single model of de-regulated capitalism with increasing inequalities? Influential strands of literature argue that the remarkable differences among advanced democracies are simply the heritage of an institutional structure established in the past. Therefore, they are bound to disappear under the pressure of globalisation and technological change. To the contrary, the research and comparative studies discussed in this article suggest that some of the institutional structures could be more stable and resilient than others depending on their polity. These findings suggest that a more dynamic approach in comparative political economy, capable of focusing more on the polity, is necessary to better assess current trends in the relations between capitalism and democracy. Economic growth and social equality are not necessarily incompatible and democratic capitalism is not bound to disappear. Therefore, it is more appropriate to look at different capitalisms with different types of democracies. This perspective could also offer valuable insights to build up a more inclusive economic growth and more stable and legitimated democratic institutions.


  • Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
  • Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity
  • Government Policy. Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs


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