Towards a More Dynamic Theory of Capitalist Variety
Freie Universität Berlin
King's College London, Department of Management, Research Paper No. 40
In this paper we analyze the comparative capitalisms literature, which encompasses several analytical frameworks, but shares common concerns in understanding the institutional foundations of diverse national 'varieties' of capitalism. One widespread weakness within this literature has been its static analysis and bias toward predicting institutional stability rather than change. Our contention is that introducing more dynamism into this literature must proceed on three distinct levels: the micro, meso, and macro. On the micro level, it needs to develop a less deterministic view of institutions that incorporates a stronger understanding of how actors reshape institutions, not only as constraints on particular courses of action, but also as resources for new courses of action that (incrementally) transform those institutions. On the meso-level, it needs to specify more carefully the linkages among institutions and institutional domains and theorize how change in one affects change in the other. At the macro level, it needs to incorporate a compelling view of national and international politics that draws upon a theory of coalitional dynamics and the impact of particular rule-making processes that governs institutional reform in each nation.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 49
Keywords: Varieties of Capitalism
JEL Classification: P51, P12, F23
Date posted: June 1, 2006