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E pluribus unum? Varieties and commonalities of capitalism

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  • Streeck, Wolfgang

Abstract

The paper reviews the origins of the comparative study of capitalism and of the diverse approaches applied to it in contemporary political economy. It distinguishes four models accounting for differences in the institutional make-up of national capitalist economies, which it refers to as the social embeddedness, power resource, historicalinstitutionalist, and rationalist-functionalist model, respectively. Special attention is given to the rationalist-functionalist account of capitalist variety and its reception in the research literature. The paper concludes with remarks on the likely effect of the global financial crisis after 2007 on theories of political economy in general and of 'varieties of capitalism' in particular. It argues that in future the commonalities and interdependencies of national capitalisms deserve and are likely to receive more attention than their differences.

Suggested Citation

  • Streeck, Wolfgang, 2010. "E pluribus unum? Varieties and commonalities of capitalism," MPIfG Discussion Paper 10/12, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:mpifgd:1012
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Rosemary Batt & Hiroatsu Nohara & Hyunji Kwon, 2010. "Employer Strategies and Wages in New Service Activities: A Comparison of Co-ordinated and Liberal Market Economies," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 48(2), pages 400-435, June.
    2. Beckert, Jens, 2007. "The Great Transformation of Embeddedness: Karl Polanyi and the New Economic Sociology," MPIfG Discussion Paper 07/1, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
    3. Amable, Bruno, 2003. "The Diversity of Modern Capitalism," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199261147.
    4. Hirschman, Albert O, 1982. "Rival Interpretations of Market Society: Civilizing, Destructive, or Feeble?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 20(4), pages 1463-1484, December.
    5. Taylor, Mark Zachary, 2004. "Empirical Evidence Against Varieties of Capitalism's Theory of Technological Innovation," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 58(03), pages 601-631, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mitchell Christopher W., 2016. "The structure of financial markets and the form of state bailouts, 1974–2009," Business and Politics, De Gruyter, vol. 18(2), pages 97-122, August.
    2. Meelen, Toon & Herrmann, Andrea M. & Faber, Jan, 2017. "Disentangling patterns of economic, technological and innovative specialization of Western economies: An assessment of the Varieties-of-Capitalism theory on comparative institutional advantages," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 667-677.
    3. Anke Hassel, 2014. "The Paradox of Liberalization — Understanding Dualism and the Recovery of the German Political Economy," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 52(1), pages 57-81, March.
    4. Giorgos Argitis & Stella Michopoulou, 2013. "Studies in Financial Systems No 4 Financialization and the Greek Financial System," FESSUD studies fstudy04, Financialisation, Economy, Society & Sustainable Development (FESSUD) Project.

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