The purpose of the issue is to present a series of critiques of dominant perspectives in the Comparative Capitalisms scholarship (CC) and Varieties of Capitalism literature (VoC), and also to outline a range of alternatives rooted in the Critical Political Economy traditions. The common denominator across CC and VoC contributions is the privileging of institutions over and above the wider social relations in which they sit and by which they are constituted. Thus, they see the basis for spatial and temporal differences to be rooted in institutional configurations, rather than in the contradictions, inequalities and conflicts that critical political economy considers to be central to capitalism. As well the post-2007 crisis has had little impact on the trajectory of the VoC and CC. Rather than targeting the underlying causes of the crisis, the debate has remained focused on the refining of institutionalist frameworks as was the case prior to 2007 and analizing varied responses to the crisis.
This special issue edited by Ian Bruff and Matthias Ebenau presents a rich collection of interesting and innovative papers that not just share common ground to the extent that they express dissatisfaction with mainstream CC approaches, but they offer
a range of alternative perspectives that could be utilised instead in understanding – and critique – of capitalism and the current systemic crisis.
To the issue and all the papers (If you don’t have free access to the papers (please try the link first and Google it), you may leave your email here or write me privately, specifying which paper you want– and I’ll send it to you.)