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Hybrids and Regulation in the Global Political Economy
Competition and Change
While regulation theory literature has made important contributions to the much-debated domain of globalisation by focusing on various aspects of post-Fordism, it has not yet fully engaged with the implications that can be drawn from critical approaches in international political economy. Recent studies have explored the transnational bases of new patterns and agents of change beyond states, firms and institutions traditionally involved in regulatory practices. Hybrid is often used as a default attribute reflecting lack of clear understanding of the breadth of this new type of influence and the opacity of the means involved. Drawing on the insights of philology and mythology, the paper argues that the notion of hybrid is relevant in elucidating the ontological ambiguity between imaginary and real aspects of globalisation. Furthermore, it specifies the categories involved in the analysis of emerging forms of hybrid regulation. Recent scholarship on globalisation tends to focus on the private-public nexus of the subjects involved in new forms of institutional arrangements and authority. Here, subjects, objects and space are analysed as joint issues. By focusing particularly on transformations affecting the role of the state, forms of competition, and their rescaling on a transnational basis, the concept of global hybrid is seen as complementary to the emancipation of regulation approaches from early emphasis on national levels of compromises.
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