Securing Hegemony for Finance-Led Export-Oriented Accumulation? Recent Struggles and Transformations of French Capitalism

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    • Presentation speakers
      • Julia Lux, University of Tuebingen, Germany


    The Eurozone crisis and even more the resulting new economic governance of the EU represent a new phase in European integration and Europeanisation research. The impact of European integration on national capitalist models has been an important debate in academia for years. During the crisis, however, mainstream approaches seem reluctant and ill-equipped to analyse current transformations of domestic political economies. In this paper, I use a discourse-focused Neo-Gramscian concept of hegemony in order to shed light on the changes of accumulation strategies and their modes of regulation as conceptualised by French regulation theory. My analysis focuses on the case of France and I argue that during the crisis years, a shift in the accumulation strategy is taking place which we can deduct from the discourses of social forces. While internal demand and consumption have traditionally played an important role, those are now sidelined in order to further strengthen the export sector. This transformation is pushed in particular by the EU and financial as well as industrial capital but is supported by major political parties and partly by the Socialist government. The mode of regulation strengthening export accumulation is costly for workers and private households and threatens social achievements in France. Thus, this transformation is marked by social conflicts and struggles, even though, some trade unions are hegemonically embedded in the historic bloc pushing for finance-led export-oriented accumulation.