Tag Archives: institutional change

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 issue deals with the important question of how public understandings of … 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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What is Historical Sociology? Understanding the origins of the contemporary world and the consequences of current transformations

Sociology was created to explain historical change, although social sciences’ “founding fathers” disagreed over the nature of that change. Dealing mainly with topics which now we can easily associate with economic sociology and political economy (capitalism and labor),  Karl Marx, Karl Polanyi, Émile … Continue reading

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Latin American capitalism: multinational corporations, business groups, low skills and segmented labor markets

In the course of the last three decades, tectonic changes have occurred in much of Latin America: Many authoritarian governments have been replaced by democracies, and ‘free-market’ principles have supplanted many of the policies of the past. But the redevelopment … Continue reading

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