Discursive strategies and change
Developments of French capitalism in crisis
In times of crisis, comparative capitalism analysis has difficulties differentiating crisis symptoms and effects from trends that may be more long-term. In this paper, I propose that by looking at the discursive strategies of central actors within the political economy, we may improve our understanding of capitalist trajectories. Drawing on Regulation Theory and Gramsci, the main empirical argument is that the French accumulation regime and its regulation are changing to a more explicitly export-oriented and financialised capitalism. This is underscored by the political project of capital-friendly austerity corresponding to a shift in the relationship of forces, the establishment of a neoliberal understanding of competitiveness, and the fading-out of purchasing power. The theoretical contribution of the paper is to integrate more closely critical discourse analysis with a critical political economy perspective.