This paper focuses on the reorganization of the welfare mix in advanced welfare states, with a focus on Germany and in the light of recent developments in liberal Anglo-Saxon countries. Scrutinizing the relationship between the state and the non profit sector, it retraces a movement towards the liberalization of corporatism, that is, the gradual replacement of corporatist regulation by a liberal, more market-oriented approach. With this approach, proliferating in many parts of the world, non-statutory actors are welcome as service providers, albeit on the basis of a more loosely coupled partnership with public authorities. Comparing Anglo-Saxon and continental European traditions, two forms of the regulatory interface relevant to the collaboration between the state and the non-profit sector are compared: procurement (epitomized by a public body’s purchase of services within a competitive landscape of service providers), and commissioning which be understood as covering a broader range of inter-sector arrangements in which the market logic remains rudimentary. The development in Germany, it is argued, proves hybrid as the two forms coexist, albeit within a more market-driven context. In that sense, there is a liberalization of corporatism.
Keywords: Liberalization; Corporatism; Regulatory Interface; Procurement; Commissioning