B. Pula: Configuring globalized capitalisms

May 16, 2018

CELSI Frontiers Seminar on "Configuring globalized capitalisms: assembly platforms, intermediate producers, and combined roles in Central and Eastern Europe" with Besnik Pula, Department of Political Science, Virginia Tech.


Existing literatures in comparative political economy have made successive attempts to define and characterize the institutional political economies of Central and Eastern Europe. From “liberal market capitalism” to “dependent market economy,” to efforts to graft Central and Eastern European political economies along the liberal and coordinated models of the Varieties of Capitalism perspective, the literature contains a plethora of general types none of which seem to fully capture the distinct features of the region’s political economy and international specialization. This paper addresses this question by examining Central and Eastern European states through an inductive definition that treats each economy’s international economic role in the context of a globalized European economy. In doing so, it identifies three such roles occupied by Central and Eastern European states: assembly platform, intermediate producer, and combined. The paper develops this typology of comparative political economies and shows its applicability to the economies of Central and Eastern Europe and their origins in socialist industrial legacies and the politics of postsocialist economic reform. It then describes the relationship between international economic roles and domestic economic institutions using a production regime approach.


Dr. Besnik Pula is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Virginia Tech. His main research interests lie in the comparative political economy of the states of Central and Eastern Europe. His book, Globalization Under and After Socialism (2018) examines the history of transnational production under socialism and its role in the making of the contemporary globalized economies in the postcommunist states of Central and Eastern Europe. His current research is focused on the institutional analysis of skill formation regimes in Central and Eastern Europe, examining in particular the relationships between international economic specialization, labor markets, and educational reform. In addition to this research, Prof. Pula has ongoing interests in critical and institutionalist theories of political economy, qualitative and comparative methodologies, and social and political theory. His research has been published in journals including New Political Economy, East European Politics, Political Power and Social Theory, Comparative Studies in History and Society, Theory and Society, Nationalities Papers, and as various book chapters.


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