Throughout the past two decades, Bob Jessop has drawn considerable attention to the compatibility between French Régulation (FR) and Critical Realist approaches (CR), arguing that FR implicitly works within a critical realist ontology, epistemology and methodology. Inspired by his insights, I argue that a Spinozian-led Immanent Causality Morphogenetic Approach (ICMA) provides a fruitful avenue for further regulationist research and represents a promising effort to ground FR in (meta)theory, whereby, ontologically speaking, the ICMA explores how structure and agency emerge, intertwine and redefine each other in and over time. The two approaches mutually reinforce each other: ICMA is able to provide FR with a solid theoretical and metatheoretical foundation, while FR, can enrich the ICMA with its direct engagement with capitalism related studies and a well-developed terminology in the field. The value added of ICMA can be seen in four points: it (1) clarifies the distinction between extensive and intensive regimes of accumulation and the speed of technological change, (2) specifies the problematique of hierarchy and stability of the dominant bloc, (3) fleshes out the problematique of endometabolism and hybridity, and (4) provides the researcher with a methodological framework to absent the necessary relations at the level of conditioning.

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Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour
International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University (ISS)

Knio, K. (2020). Critical realist encounters: Morphogenizing the French régulation approach. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour. doi:10.1111/jtsb.12253