6th Framework Programme (2002-2006)
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Project 20 Detail:
'Varieties of Capitalism' and Economic Governance in CE Europe (STACEE)
Project completed

This project investigated the developing political economy of Central Europe in two key respects: in the first place, it sought to map the changing role of the state in the economy, and the difficulties of developing any new form of social contract between state and society given the constant pressures for state retrenchment and austerity. The second strand of the research investigated the emergence of economic institutions beyond the state, and sought to clarify and categorise the emerging models of capitalism. Although the existing ‘Varieties of Capitalism’ (VoC) literature has focused on the firm as the central unit of analysis, this project assumed in the first instance that the state’s role in the economy stands as the primary point of investigation, given the centrality of the state in both designing the form and process of marketisation in each case and the difficulties of de-politicising economic decisions in a period of radical economic change. Beyond that, however, we followed the preoccupations of the VoC literature in that we were interested in identifying which arenas are effective in encouraging competitiveness, developing economic policy and in balancing social interests.

The ultimate aim of the project was to reconcile two seemingly contradictory stylised facts on CEECs. One is the weak state, which fails to offer broad institutional frameworks that sustain the emerging product regimes in the Visegrad countries. The other is the active yet pragmatic construction of relevant elements of such frameworks in some of the CEECs by foreign and sometimes domestic firms.

Page updated: 10/12/08

Co-ordinated by the European University Institute