The essay, starting from a general analysis on the nature of the economic and financial crisis of modern capitalism, focuses attention on the functioning and future of pluralist democracies, or rather those structures founded on the combined presence and work of autonomous organizations and associations that contribute to the government, or better, to the governance of societies within which (even if with dramatic fractures) political coalitions lived throughout the 20th century. Overall, the advent of global markets, the austerity financial strategies sponsored by transnational economic institutions, the global restructuring processes of labour and production organization based on the World Class Manufacturing principles, have all deeply undermined the relationship between market and pluralism, leading to the decline of collective representative organizations and of mass political parties. This has also brought us to institutions which are no longer able to effectively regulate global markets, and that do not favour the agreement method which has been considered the main instrument of pluralist relations. Thus, there seem to be hard times ahead for pluralism and for collective organizations, which are constantly looking for a new and more sustainable equilibrium in a context increasingly influenced by the market.
Keywords: Pluralism, democracy, industrial relations, institutions, representation