Varieties of Capitalism, Power Resources, and Historical Legacies: Explaining the Slovenian Exception
40 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2009 Last revised: 14 Sep 2009
Date Written: 2009
What might Slovenia -- a small, relatively new nation-state -- tell us about debates in comparative political economy? Arguably quite a bit. Slovenia has been justifiably called “neocorporatist” and a “coordinated market economy,” making it unique among postcommunist societies, including ten new EU member states. We explore how it became so, and in the process shed light on the debate between varieties of capitalism and power resource theories about how coordinated or neocorporatist economies emerge. While several of the elements predicted by the varieties of capitalism perspective were present in Slovenia, others were not. We also find that a significant mobilization by organized labor played an essential role, lending support to power resource theory. Moreover, we find that specific historical legacies were critical, particularly those from the distinct Yugoslav form of communism. In short, the reasons for Slovenia’s postcommunist neocoporatism are complex, and while the Slovenian case suggests alternative paths of development remain viable, it is not a model that could be followed easily.
Keywords: Postcommunism, labor, Slovenia, varieties of capitalism, legacies, power resource theory
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