UCL Home

The crisis of the "liberal–productivist" model of development: a regulationist analysis, an ecologist response.

17:30 - 19:30 20 May 2013

Location: G04 Gavin de Beer Lecture Theatre. UCL campus

Alain Lipietz

Speaker: Alain Lipietz | Economist | Former member of European Parliament
Adriana Allen | Senior Lecturer | Director MSc Environment and Sustainable Development

Officially opened by the crash of Lehman Brothers, and today turning into a crisis of sovereign debts, the present crisis already appears to be as serious as the Great Depression of the Thirties. Yet, a financial crisis is the expression of the exhaustion of a “model of capitalist development”. This crisis is the crisis the “liberal-productivist model” that stemmed from early eighties to nowadays. A complex crisis: the combination of a 1930s type socio-economic crisis, and of an Ancient regime ecological crisis. In turn, this ecological crisis has two dimensions: an energy-climate crisis, and a food-health crisis.

Thus, its solution cannot be a mere Keynesian solution (a New Deal: easy credit, extension of public expenditures, increase in wage-share), but it must be focused on investing in the ecological transition.

First, we sum up the components of the late model of capitalist development, using the tools of the “regulation approach”. Second, we scrutinise the interweaving of social, economic, and ecological factors in the crisis from 2007 until today. Third, we stretch out the blue prints for a specifically “Green” Deal. We conclude with the difficulties of implementing such a deal.


Born in 1947, Alain Lipietz was trained as engineer at Polytechnic School of Paris and National School of Bridges and Roads, but turned to economic researches.

His main focus are macroeconomics, social policy, international and regional economics, along some 20 books translated into many languages, and hundreds articles. He wrote the synthesis of an international research on capital-labour relations for the World Institute for Development Economic Researches (UN University) and the synthesis of a international survey of the Rio « Earth Summit » (1992) for UNESCO. Most of these works are available on his website http://lipietz.net.

From 1992 on, he turned into an elected activist of the french Green Party, at his city council , at the Regional Council of Paris Region, and from 1999 to 2009 at the European Parliament. He was member of the Legal Affairs Committee, of the International Trade Committee, of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Commitee, Chairperson of the Delegation for Andean Community and of the intergroup « Trade and Sustainable Development ».

Everyone is welcome to attend this event.