E pluribus unum? Varieties and commonalities of capitalism
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.
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- 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.
- Hirschman, Albert O, 1982. "Rival Interpretations of Market Society: Civilizing, Destructive, or Feeble?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 20(4), pages 1463-84, December.
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- Amable, Bruno, 2003. "The Diversity of Modern Capitalism," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199261147.
- 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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