The Illusion of Capitalism in Post-Soviet Ukraine
Debatte: Journal of Contemporary Central and Eastern Europe, Vol. 16, No.3, pp. 331-345, 2008
16 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 2013
Date Written: 2008
This paper evaluates critically the meta-narrative that there is no alternative to capitalism. Building upon an emerging corpus of post-structuralist thought that has begun deconstructing this discourse in relation to western economies and the majority (third) world, this paper further extends this critique to Central and Eastern Europe by investigating the degree to which people in post-Soviet Ukraine rely on the capitalist market economy for their livelihood. Reporting the results of 600 face-to-face interviews, the finding is that only a small minority of households in this post-socialist society relies on the formal market economy alone to secure their livelihood and that the vast majority depend on a plurality of market and non-market economic practices. The outcome is a call to re-think the lived practice of economic transition in post-Soviet societies more widely in order to open up the feasibility of, and possibilities for, alternative economic futures beyond capitalist hegemony.
Keywords: capitalism, post-structuralism, Ukraine, informal economy, informal sector, livelihoods, Eastern Europe
JEL Classification: O17, H31, H26
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation