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Traduction de Roger Miller
Cet article est une traduction de :
Éditorial [fr]

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The central feature of this, the thirtieth issue of the Revue de la régulation, is devoted to “Facets of the State as a Shareholder”. This term reflects not only the notion of a specific instrument of public policy (state participation in company capital), but also those of a disparate set of stakeholders and institutions and of a political ‘myth’.

The issues concerned date back more or less to the sixteenth century, when the actions of the state first became the object of debate, although it is true to say that liberal criticism levelled at the state only began to influence economic policy in the nineteenth century and at the beginning of the twentieth. At the same time, these periods were marked by innumerable crises and violent social conflicts, which led intellectuals to explore other theories to replace liberalism. This development was particularly noteworthy after World War 2 and from then on the state became a key element, responsible for shaping public intervention, even if ongoing liberal views were still liable to create dissident factions. The latter claimed that state intervention was ineffective and inefficient and encouraged over-dependency. From the nineteen-seventies onwards it became once more politically acceptable to show defiance towards the state. The discussion no longer hinged solely on the economic role of the state but rather on the way in which state intervention is controlled. The methods used should be inspired by the managerial practices observed in the capitalistic private enterprise sector and the state should ensure that this is the case. In other words, the economic role of the state seems to be irreplaceable in contemporary capitalist societies (the covid crisis provides new proof of this, as has already been discussed at length1). However, in order to be effective, the managerial standards used in the context of competition, cost-benefit relationships and shareholder governance should also be applied to government departments.

The main feature, “Facets of the State as a Shareholder”, consists of nine articles preceded by a comprehensive introduction that outlines the different theoretical approaches chosen. In line with the policy of the Revue de la régulation to encourage trans-disciplinary dialogue, the feature makes use of the resources of economics, management and history to study this domain, which has been insufficiently analysed in the past. Rather than presenting each article we will simply highlight here the major points made throughout, beginning with the historical dimension. In order to support the points they are making, the contributors base their reflections on a series of facts mainly revolving round the Liberation and the turning-point of the nineteen-eighties. Secondly, the feature shows the interest and variety inherent in the current research on the situation in France and, by way of contrast, the need for further work to be devoted to the question internationally. The article on the emergence of shareholder governance at the Caisse de dépôts et de gestion in Morocco shows how relevant this is. Thirdly, the complexity of state intervention cannot be controlled by a management mode from “the world of capitalistic private enterprise”. Subsequently state institutions evolve and attempt as best they can to reconcile sometimes contradictory approaches in order to ensure a form of social cohesion.

The article published in the Varia section analyses the evolution of the dairy sector in three countries, Canada, France and New Zealand. Marie Dervillé studies the regulations in each national context in order to demonstrate the diversity of the trajectories followed.

The interview by Hadrien Coutant, Antoine Ducatel and Scott Viallet-Thévenin relates the experience of François Morin as a government minister in several cabinets. He was personally involved in industrial policy-making and explains here the undercurrents influencing economic choices, emphasising the central importance of power relations, political strategy, alliances, and so on.

In the Opinion-Debate section, Nicolas Piluso proposes a more theoretical view of money from a Marxian perspective. This text represents a contribution to the controversy and the discussions about the links between money and value.

  • 2 The Feminist Economy.
  • 3 The Political Economy of Gender.
  • 4 The Pandemic Test for Capitalism.

Four commentaries and four thesis summaries bring this issue to a close. Irène Berthonnet proposes an original recension which establishes a dialogue between two works, L’économie féministe2 and L’économie politique du genre3 in order to show the economic influence of gender-related questions. Sterenn Lebayle and Nicolas Pinsard concentrate on a critical analysis of the concept of techno-feudalism as defined by Cédric Durand. This researcher also appears in this issue as a writer, contributing a critical recension of the recently published book by Robert Boyer entitled Les capitalismes à l’épreuve de la pandémie.4 Robert Boyer does not share Cédric Durand’s view of the links between the pandemic and capitalism and argues his position with a counterpoint. In his book he demonstrates that the health crisis does not represent crisis of capitalism, given that some forms of capitalism gain from it whilst others lose out.

The thesis summaries, the first three of which approach different facets of state action, highlight the work of our young colleagues. Nicolas Pinsard shows how the taxation system has contributed to the process of commodification and to making France what it is today; Joël Ntsondé looks at the impact of public contracting in the construction industry sector with regard to the transition to a circular economy in economic territoires. Justine Ballon identifies the specific features of entrepreneur cooperatives in a context where individual entrepreneurship is recognised more and more frequently at its true value Benjamin Bürbaumer analyses the way institutions were established to control the markets between Tafta member countries. Finally, Benjamin Bürbaumer analyses the way institutions were established to control the markets between Tafta member countries.

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1 See Issue 29 of the Revue de la régulation, for example. URL: 29 | 2021 Covid-19 - L’économie dévoilée par la crise pandémique (

2 The Feminist Economy.

3 The Political Economy of Gender.

4 The Pandemic Test for Capitalism.

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« Editorial »Revue de la régulation [En ligne], 30 | 1er semestre | Spring 2021, mis en ligne le 07 juillet 2021, consulté le 17 août 2022. URL : ; DOI :

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