The European Socio-Economic Models of a Knowledge-Based Society: Synthesis and Policy Implication

Type de publication:

Book Chapter


Variety of Capitalism and Diversity of Productive Models: Main Conclusions of the Gerpisa Research Programme, CCFA, Volume 41, p.25-95 (2008)


Commission Européenne, modèle européen, modèles productifs, politiques publiques, variété des capitalisme


ESEMK project considered initially four different types of socio-economic model (or social system of innovation and production) in Europe on the basis of the typology developed in Amable (2003): market-based economies, socio-democratic
economies, continental Europe and Southern European capitalism. Such a typology is accepted by a growing numbers of observers (for example Sapir, 2006, Giddens, 2006) even if they refer mainly to Esping-Andersen's work on the three worlds of welfare capitalism (Esping-Andersen, 1990) to which a fourth configuration, Southern Europe, had been added.
Considering this diversity of capitalism within EU, the aim of ESEMK project was to propose a more adapted analysis of the socio-economic development models in Europe, the transformations affecting them, both at the macro and at the micro/meso –levels; to assess the chances of emergence of a specific European socio-economic model distinct from the models existing in other developed regions of the world and to analyse how it can represent an original path towards the
knowledge-based society.  This final report synthesises the ESEMK main findings presented in detail in previous thematic work packages’ reports (Deliverables D3 to D6) and discusses their policy implications, mainly in perspective of the Lisbon
Part 1 will summarise our integrated analytical framework which articulates the macro-level (socio-economic model), the meso-level (sector or industry) and the micro-level (productive models). Using these analytical tools, Part 2 discusses current institutional changes occurring in Europe, their impacts on socioeconomic development models and their policy implications, on three main institutional areas: product market regulation, labour market, and financial system. We’ll analyse how transformations taking place at the macro/societal level, at the meso/industry level and at the micro/company level interact.  
Finally, we conclude that these modifications do not lead, neither to the emergence of a specific European model exhibiting distinct characteristics (social protection, corporate governance…), neither to convergence towards a market-based model,
discussing the Lisbon agenda within this theoretical framework.


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