Capitalist Diversity on Europe's Periphery (Cornell Studies in Political Economy)
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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 Béla 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.
two-thirds of foreign capital. No wonder, then, that in 2007, the ten large auto manufacturers and hundreds of suppliers located in the Visegrád countries produced the bulk of the three million units originating from the former socialist new EU member states, that is, about 15 percent of European production. Before the outbreak of the global crisis, the region’s share was expected to climb above 20 percent in the coming years.69 68. Kolesár, “Race to the Bottom.” 69. György Heimer, “Keletre
most of all, the avoidance of that painful loss of status which inevitably accompanies transference to a job at which a man is less skilled and experienced than at his own.30 In turn, to combat fears of atomization within a horizontally disintegrating “social fabric,” which have been no less deep-seated than fears of degradation along the vertical axis of social hierarchy, identity politics could be invoked. The national idea’s ability to nurture emotionally powerful attachments has been
health of the body politic. . . . The effects of paternalism on the ‘substance’ of the common culture were so devastating that anything seemed better in comparison. In time the victims of the new regime either passively acquiesced in, or actively supported, market utopianism as a way of rescuing their freedom and dignity.” Maurice Glasman, “The Great Deformation: Polanyi, Poland and the Terrors of Planned Spontaneity,” in The New Great Transformation? Change and Continuity in East-Central Europe,
demand for its products, large foreign capital inﬂows, and rising living standards. Completed accession to the EU contributed to the spread of optimistic assessments of future economic perspectives. Transnational capitalism seemed to function remarkably well until the late 2000s when it was shaken worldwide. Soon after the EU enlargement, the fragility of capitalist democracy returned with a vengeance. There have been riots and mass demonstrations, centrist parties have become radicalized and
The premier’s unilateral imposition of wage controls and his attempt to build up rival labor representation made KOZ withdraw from tripartite negotiations altogether, and join the political alliance that ﬁnally defeated Mečiar in the 1998 elections. In return for the electoral support received from the unions, the ﬁrst government of Mikuláš Dzurinda adopted a Law on Economic and Social Partnership in 1999. The law established “tripartite ‘social dialogue’ within a formal and enforceable framework