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date: 25 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This entry presents a variegated capitalism analysis of Atlantic capitalism. We trace the development of the national accumulation regimes in the United Kingdom, United States, and Germany from the nineteenth century to the present. Following the Great Depression and World War II, policymakers, reformers, and business leaders explicitly crafteda framework for regulating North American and Western European capitalism . The national Fordist accumulation regimes embedded in thisinternational framework offset the stagnationist and crisis tendencies of capitalism for around two decades, seeing high profits and strong, wage-led growth. The crisis of Fordism that lasted through the 1970s—declining profits and stagnation—marked the transition to what we refer to as the geriatric stage of post-Fordist Atlantic capitalism. In response to the crisis, capital and the state engaged in widespread restructuring. The post-Fordist regime of internationalized competition and finance generated a return to destructive, wage-based competition. The core-periphery nature of the enlarged, neoliberalized European Union and the precarious dependence of the United States on China have exacerbated global political economic instability. The post-Fordist stage is characterized by slow growth, economic instability, and increasingly damaging economic crises; wage stagnation, rising inequality, and labor market precarity; and political polarization.

Keywords: declining rate of profit, economic crisis, financial crisis, financialization, Fordism, overaccumulation, post-Fordism, regulation theory, stagnation, variegated capitalism

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