kroos, karmo


Varieties of post-Communist Capitalism with Their Religious Foundations

Although the world is globalizing, it is important to recognize that there are still plenty of differences within and among countries, including the post-communist ones.  That is, economic sociologists have argued that in reality there is no unified (textbook like) model of capitalism that all actually existing systems follow and have proposed the framework of varieties of capitalisms instead.  Extending this logic to the post-communist world, one could argue that as long as the countries of the former socialist system are not converging into one unified capitalist one – if there will ever be such – it would be reasonable to find varieties of post-communist socio-economic systems.  Yet, there is a tendency in the (welfare regimes) literature to treat all post-communist countries as similar to one another.  This “unity in diversity” seems to be produced by the comparison of East European countries to West as well as reliance of easily accessible data from WB, EBRD, OECD and/or Eurostat.  This paper is an attempt to challenge this view and highlight the dissimilarities between former socialist countries.  Extending the typology of King & Szelényi (2006) “Max Weber’s Theory of Capitalism and Varieties of Post-communist Capitalisms” to as many ex-socialist countries as the combined data of various macro-databases allows, I hypothesize that there are five distinctive post-communist worlds that follow a distinctive path from socialism to capitalism with the unique relationships that they have developed between the non-competitive welfare state and competitive economy typical just to these countries.  These five clusters are: the (1) Lutheran, (2) Catholic, (3) Orthodox, (4) Muslim and (5) Taoist-Buddhist-Confucianist.  Hopefully this paper makes a small contribution to facilitate a better understanding of the socio-economic reality for the one third of the global population that was referred as the “second world” not so long ago.

Friday 26 October 14.30-16:30 Panels IX, Panel 23 Theoretical Perspectives of Competition II (Hall 14)