Putting Comparative Capitalism Research in its Place: Varieties of Capitalism in Transition Economies
University of Mannheim - Mannheim Centre for European Social Research (MZES); European Trade Union Institute (ETUI)
University of the West of Scotland
February 14, 2014
In Matthias Ebenau, Ian Bruff & Christian May (eds.) New Directions in Critical Comparative Capitalisms Research. London: Palgrave Macmillan; 2015.
This chapter introduces an approach to the capitalist variety in transition economies in order to make a renewed case for typological theories of economic performance. We argue that the comparative capitalism research, the VoC approach in particular, was a victim of its success. The debate it triggered has made many of its weak points apparent (see Bruff et al. in this volume), but the added value of the perspectives, its original aims, were lost in a discussion that often blamed the VoC literature for failing to deliver on agendas that were beyond its aims.
Against this background, we argue that the underlying analytical assumptions of the comparative capitalism (CC) literature remain useful and appropriate for understanding the diversity of economic and political outcomes. Many of the assumptions of VoC approach proved problematic, but it remains exemplary in pursuing a clearly delimited explanatory agenda. This aim, unfortunately, was obscured in many contributions – from both institutionalist comparative-capitalism and critical perspectives – that aimed to provide more appropriate and comprehensive frameworks for understanding contemporary political economies. We thus make a case for a more sympathetic reading of the VoC contributions. In particular, we consider developing typological theories, that is using typologies as explanatory tools (see George & Bennett, 2005), the main added value of CC research.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 18
Keywords: varieties of capitalism, international integration, Eastern Europe, Russia, Central Asia
JEL Classification: P1, P16, P5Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: March 3, 2010 ; Last revised: March 3, 2014
© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
This page was processed by apollo8 in 0.313 seconds