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

See all articles by Colin Williams

Colin Williams

University of Sheffield - School of Management

John Round

University of Birmingham

Date Written: 2008

Abstract

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

Williams, Colin and Round, John, The Illusion of Capitalism in Post-Soviet Ukraine (2008). Debatte: Journal of Contemporary Central and Eastern Europe, Vol. 16, No.3, pp. 331-345, 2008, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2290435

Colin Williams (Contact Author)

University of Sheffield - School of Management ( email )

15 Conduit Road
Sheffield, S10 1FL
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/management/staff/williams/index

John Round

University of Birmingham ( email )

Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT
United Kingdom

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