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1This fourteenth issue contains the dossier The Topicality of Ostrom’s Approach: the Commons, Property Rights and Methodological Institutionalism, followed by Varia papers, some substantive book reviews and Opinion - Debate articles. This dossier is original in many respects and, beyond the topic of the “commons”, will interest all researchers in the field of the historical institutionalism. The other contributions, while not strictly speaking academic articles, also contribute to the research process and intellectual discussion in important ways. These pieces enrich and renew three issues that are today of interest among the whole community of economists, after having long been confined to heterodoxy: 1. The question of the links between the global reach of capitalism and transformations within capitalism itself; 2. The question of the long-term effects of the concentration of capital; and finally, 3. The problem of how the financial instability engendered by the concentration of capital can be controlled.

2The two interviews in the current issue both address these questions. The first, is with Janos Kornai, a uniquely well-placed witness to the great transformations of the former centrally planned economies, and the second is with André Orléan, an analyst of contemporary financial crises and a theoretician of value. These interviews exemplify the wide range of approaches currently being used to take the pulse of capitalism, which, even if it is globalized, is also highly diverse. The Kornai interview echoes Wladimir Andreff’s article in reinterpreting post-Soviet transformations in light of the hypothesis of generalized predation. The Orléan interview, on the other hand, echoes the piece by Bernard Guerrien and Ozgur Gun that offers a critique of the irreconcilable contradictions underlying the award of the 2013 Bank of Sweden’s prize in Economics to E. Fama, the theoretician of the financial market efficiency hypothesis.

3Robert Boyer’s review of Thomas Picketty’s important book on the relationship between capital and inequality, as well as Martino Nieddu’s examination of the book by the historian Mathieu Arnoux on the link between economic transitions from the eleventh and fourteenth centuries and changes in material constraints on rural communities, invite us in different ways to read and discuss how the long span of history can inform the ways in which we consider economics. The tremendous debate that the english version of Piketty’s book has provoked in the United States and all over the world led us to publish an english translation of Robert Boyer’s book review. These writers also refresh our connections with one of the original trademarks of régulation theory: The system of proofs provided by history that diverges from a deductive-nomological pattern of thinking. These books invite us in their different ways to reconsider the foundations of a historical and abductive method of economics in a new light. Julien Vercueil’s review of Michel Aglietta and Thomas Brand’s book reminds us of the questions currently preoccupying Europe, including how deflationist policies implemented following the sovereign debt crisis can be stopped while also ensuring the sustainability of public finances and maintaining the credibility of European commitments regarding carbon emissions.

4Virgile Chassagnon and Laurent Baronian both analyze contemporary mechanisms of control with respect to organizations. Chassagnon interrogates the power of multi-national firms as expressed through their growing capacity to control and manipulate partners and the environment, while Baronian explores control mechanisms at work by analyzing the role of information and communication technologies in the prescription and control of the individual worker.

5Although the reading notes and opinion pieces have pride of place in this issue of the review, three scientific articles in Varia also illustrate the variety of methods and arguments of institutionalist political economy. Emmanuel Carré studies the way in which the United States Federal Reserve Bank modifies its inflation target and deciphers the justification that the Fed uses for these maneuvers, analyzing their theoretical and empirical limits. Étienne Cognard develops his analysis of contemporary neo-corporatism based on a history of in-house training funds. This enables him to show the conditions in which social compromises emerge and to provide a historically-grounded institutionalist interpretation. Marc Lenglet and Angelo Riva conducted a detailed analysis of the uses of trading on European financial markets. They use their analysis to demonstrate how the rise of new instruments produces a new category of risk. Their text adds depth and new perspectives to the strand of research that adopts a sociological approach to market liquidity.

6From history to current events, from the long span of history to the political currents of today, from income disparities to the operations of financial markets, and even including the struggle against the anthropogenic greenhouse effect, the articles, interviews, and reviews contained in this issue of the journal cover a wide array of topics. As diverse as they are, however, each of these subjects combines with the others, like the successive brush-strokes in a painting-in-progress, to sketch the outlines of an analysis of the evolution of capitalism – an evolution that is permanent but far from regular…

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« Editorial  », Revue de la régulation [En ligne], 14 | 2e semestre / Autumn 2013, mis en ligne le 23 décembre 2013, consulté le 24 avril 2017. URL :

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