Capitalist Diversity on Europe's Periphery

Capitalist Diversity on Europe's Periphery

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With the collapse of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance in 1991, the Eastern European nations of the former socialist bloc had to figure out their newly capitalist future. Capitalism, they found, was not a single set of political-economic relations. Rather, they each had to decide what sort of capitalist nation to become. In Capitalist Diversity on Europe's Periphery, Dorothee Bohle and Bela Geskovits trace the form that capitalism took in each country, the assets and liabilities left behind by socialism, the transformational strategies embraced by political and technocratic elites, and the influence of transnational actors and institutions. They also evaluate the impact of three regional shocks: the recession of the early 1990s, the rolling global financial crisis that started in July 1997, and the political shocks that attended EU enlargement in 2004.Bohle and Greskovits show that the postsocialist states have established three basic variants of capitalist political economy: neoliberal, embedded neoliberal, and neocorporatist. The Baltic states followed a neoliberal prescription: low controls on capital, open markets, reduced provisions for social welfare. The larger states of central and eastern Europe (Poland, Hungary, and the Czech and Slovak republics) have used foreign investment to stimulate export industries but retained social welfare regimes and substantial government power to enforce industrial policy. Slovenia has proved to be an outlier, successfully mixing competitive industries and neocorporatist social inclusion. Bohle and Greskovits also describe the political contention over such arrangements in Romania, Bulgaria, and Croatia. A highly original and theoretically sophisticated typology of capitalism in postsocialist Europe, this book is unique in the breadth and depth of its conceptually coherent and empirically rich comparative analysis.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 304 pages
  • 155 x 235 x 18mm | 28g
  • Ithaca, United States
  • English
  • 15 Tables, unspecified
  • 0801478154
  • 9780801478154
  • 541,740

Table of contents

Introduction: The Success, Fragility, and Diversity of Postsocialist Capitalism1. Capitalist Diversity after Socialism
Comparing East European Capitalisms
Polanyian Varieties
Postsocialist Regime Concepts
Matrixes of Institutions and Performances
Puzzles of the Small State Pattern2. Paths to Postsocialist Capitalism
Leaving the East
Mobilizing Consent
Returning to the West: Transnationalization and European Integration3. Nation Builders and Neoliberals: The Baltic States
Origins of the National and Nationalizing Projects
Exclusionary and Inclusionary Democracies
The Politics of Early Economic Reforms
Nationalist Social Contracts
Constructing the Estonian Success Story
Internationalization, European Integration, and the Baltic Economic Miracle4. Manufacturing Miracles and Welfare State Problems: The Visegrad Group
Unsuccessful Experiments and Double-Edged Inheritances
Welfarist Social Contracts
Rival Manufacturing Miracles
Contesting the Euro5. Neocorporatism and Weak States: The Southeastern European Countries
Labor's Won Battles and Lost Wars
Postsocialist Capitalism in Strong and Weak States
Neocorporatist Balancing versus Crisis-Driven Path Corrections6. The Return of Hard Times
Recession, Austerity, and No Alternatives: The Baltic States
Semicore Specialization, Polarized Democracy, and Austerity: The Visegrad Model in Peril
The Crisis, Neocorporatism, and Weak States: Southeastern Europe
Responsible Government or the Specter of UngovernabilityConclusion: Postsocialist Capitalism Twenty Years On
Legacies, Initial Choices, and Repressed Alternatives
Market, Welfare, Democracy, and Identity: Compatibilities and Trade-offs
Virtues and Vices of Deep International Integration
Global Convergence versus Capitalist Diversity
New Global TransformationsIndex
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Review quote

"This is a long awaited book on the emerging capitalist systems in Central and Eastern Europe. Dorothee Bohle and Bela Greskovits set themselves a very challenging task: to comprehensively cover the capitalist diversity in 11 countries at a time when comparative research in the area is still at an emergent stage, and when detailed research on the individual countries is still in its infancy. They have achieved this masterfully.... Capitalist Diversity on Europe's Periphery is a superb book that should be on every reading list on Eastern European capitalism. It will certainly become a reference book on the subject as well as an agenda setter for future research in the area and beyond." -- Silvana Cimpoca * West European Politics * "Capitalist Diversity on Europe's Periphery focuses on post-1990 East-Central Europe.... The result is an absolutely masterful analysis, sharply argued and beautifully written. I believe it is set to become a classic in the field of transition studies." -- Stefan Sfallfors * Perspectives on Politics * "The authors express a passionate commitment to liberal democracy, especially to its neocorporatist version. At the same time given their extensive knowledge of actual events they manage to stay away from far-reaching generalisations and paint a highly complex picture of the transition. While the diversity of crisis experiences raises a number of challenges to their theoretical framework, the overview of struggles during the past 20 years to combine market ef?ciency and popular support provides an important set of hypotheses regarding the future. The combination of deep theoretical and regional insights is likely to make the book a reference volume not only for scholars focusing on the region but also for those pondering the future of global capitalism and democracy." -- Dora Gyorffy, Peter Pazmany Catholic University * Europe-Asia Studies * "Bohle and Greskovits have produced a generally solid comparative study of developments in former state socialist.... They have developed a comprehensive framework for explaining the divergences.... A much better starting point for comparative analysis of the development of types of capitalism in the region they study than any other currently available." -- Martin Myant * Transfer * "Bohle and Greskovits see three distinct approaches: the 'neoliberalism' that characterizes the Baltic states and favors market efficiency over the other two concerns; the "embedded liberalism" of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia, which softens the pursuit of market efficiency and pays greater attention to welfare policies; and Slovenia's 'neocorporatist' approach, which seeks to cushion the effects of marketization on particular segments of society. In this tightly argued comparative study, the authors also explore how these three clusters of countries have dealt with their socialist legacies and with the imperatives imposed by a liberal global economy and the financial and economic crisis that it has lately generated." -- Robert Legvold * Foreign Affairs * "Bohle and Greskovits... have given us a much better starting point for comparative analysis of the development of types of capitalism in the region they study than any other currently available." -- Martin Myant * Transfer * "Dorothee Bohle and Bela Greskovits examine the varying forms that capitalism has taken in east central Eurpoe, offering a new typology of capitalist democracies informed importantly by the work of Karl Polanyi's early analysis of twentieth-century capitalist development in Europe.... The nuance and clarity of the analysis allow the book to engage multiple debates on postcommunist political and economic reform." -- Hilary Appel * Slavic Review *
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About Dorothee Bohle

Dorothee Bohle is Associate Professor of Political Science at Central European University and the author of Europe's New Periphery: Poland's Transformation and Transnational Integration. Bela Greskovits is Professor of International Relations and European Studies at Central European University and the author of The Political Economy of Protest and Patience: East European and Latin American Transformations Compared.
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