Tag Archives: institutional change

Joseph Schumpeter: Social structures are coins that do not readily melt

Economic sociologists an political economists will surely discern the grace and insight in the following Joseph Schumpeter’s quote (from his magnum opus Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy), which beautifully describes the essence of institutions, their socio-historical embeddedness, as well as their persistence in front of … Continue reading

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The Washington Consensus: Sociology of Economics and History of Ideas

In 1989, John Williamson, a fellow at the Institute for International Economics in Washington, DC which previously advised the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, presented a background paper to a conference aimed to explore how extensive were the policy reforms that were then … Continue reading

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What is Political Economy? It is Essentially a Historical Science

In December 1867 a German positivist philosopher and economist Eugen Dührings published a critical review of Karl Marx’s Capital. Dühring, inter alia, disapproved the Marxist labour theory of value and asserted, based on his own concept of “ethics of sympathy”, that a dichotomy between … Continue reading

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Back to the Future: Authoritarian Neoliberal Regime versus Democratic Social State

The destiny of the 20th century, especially after the WWII, has been determined and shaped by the multifaceted confrontation between capitalism and “communism”, the West vis-a-vis the East. But history did not end in 1991, as some have tried to convince … Continue reading

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Why is there no labor party in the United States? Look at Canada to find out

In 1906, a German distinguished (somewhat neglected) economist and sociologist Werner Sombart published Why is there no Socialism in the United States? – a book which will become a famous work on American exceptionalism to this day (along with a pioneering and penetrative  Democracy in America, by Alexis de … Continue reading

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The politics of fiscal policies: the lessons of history

Throughout the recent years of the crisis, the EU bodies and the German leaders have constantly oppressed Greece. They have pushed Greek people towards the abyss of austerity in the name of “fiscal responsibility” and “self-evident economic truths”. But essentially, it is … Continue reading

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Economic culture in the public sphere: practice, knowledge and discourse

“Economic Culture in the Public Sphere” is the topic of the European Journal of Sociology special issue, edited by Nina Bandelj, Lyn Spillman & Frederick F. Wherry. This very interesting collection of articles deals with the important question of how public understandings … Continue reading

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Democracy matters: the extension of the franchise and its impact on financial systems

For centuries, voting rights were limited to wealthy elites, aristocrats, and landlords. For instance,  the electorate in England and Wales in 1780 consisted of less than 3% of the total population. Suffrage reforms, enacted during the late 19th and the 20th … Continue reading

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Community Capitalism in China: the State, the Market, and Collectivism

“Planning and market forces are not the essential difference between socialism and capitalism. A planned economy is not the definition of socialism, because there is planning under capitalism; the market economy happens under socialism, too. Planning and market forces are … Continue reading

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From Socialism to Neoliberalism: the case of Central Eastern European countries

The transition from communism or socialism to capitalism has proved to be a rockier road than many in the West (think of Fukuyama as an example) anticipated. The degree and character of challenges that countries faced during the transition depended … Continue reading

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