Proposal preview

In Search of European Capitalism

The session will explore a set of proposals put forward by Franco Amatori regarding European capitalism. The central hypothesis is that European capitalism has four pillars (contractual cooperation between firms, hegemony of family firms, state intervention, and strength of the workers’ movement); but that in the second half of the twentieth century, these four pillars have been submerged by three significant waves (Americanization, European integration, and globalization). The profound crisis of 2008 has pushed the clock back a bit and the original characteristics re-emerged, showing that they are not ephemeral. This is a powerful yet controversial hypothesis in order to understand the long-term development of European capitalism, including its current search for a new lease of life after the Euro-crisis and Brexit. The arguments in its favour can be put forcefully. At the same time, these arguments can be countered on the grounds of the great diversity of European experiences, as well as the similarities with non-European models of capitalism. The session will offer the opportunity to present and discuss the Amatori’s hypothesis, through a series of papers assessing and commenting the four pillars and three waves, as well as discussion with the audience.


  • Youssef Cassis, European University Institute,, Italy
  • Franco Amatori, University Bocconi Milan,, Italy

Session members

  • Grace Ballor, UCLA,
  • Andrea Colli, University Bocconi Milan,
  • Valentina Fava, Institute of Contemporary History,Czech Academy of Sciences ,
  • Daniela Felisini, University of Rome 2,
  • Paloma Fernández Pérez, Universitat de Barcelona,
  • Eric Godelier, Ecole Polytechnique,
  • Harold James, Princeton University,
  • Stefano Musso, University of Turin,
  • Giorgio Resta, University of Rome 3,
  • Neil Rollings, University of Glasgow,
  • Harm Schroeter, University of Bergen,
  • Luciano Segreto, University of Florence,

Proposed discussant(s)

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