The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd


  • Joseph Halevi
Reference work entry


Corporatism is a set of political doctrines aimed at organizing civil society on the basis of professional and occupational representation in chambers called Estates or Corporations. It maintains that class conflict is not inherent in the capitalist system of production and ownership relations. Corporatism has its ideological roots mainly in 19th-century French and Italian Catholic social thought, as well as in German romanticism and idealism. Corporative ideas can be found in eminent European thinkers. Hegel, in his Philosophy of Right, thought of a corporate structure in which the Estates constituted the link between civil society and the State (Hegel 1821). In France, Durkheim put forward a view of corporatism specifically related to the division of labour engendered by modern industry. According to Durkheim, the Corporations’ task is to diversify at the level of each industry the general principles of industrial legislation formulated by the political assemblies (Durkheim 1893).

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  • Joseph Halevi
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