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Beyond Varieties of CapitalismConflict, Contradictions, and Complementarities in the European Economy$
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Bob Hancké, Martin Rhodes, and Mark Thatcher

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199206483

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199206483.001.0001

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Introduction: Beyond Varieties of Capitalism

Introduction: Beyond Varieties of Capitalism

(p.3) 1 Introduction: Beyond Varieties of Capitalism
Beyond Varieties of Capitalism

Bob Hancké (Contributor Webpage)

Martin Rhodes (Contributor Webpage)

Mark Thatcher (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This introductory chapter ties together themes running through all the chapters in this volume. It discusses critiques of the Varieties of Capitalism or VoC approach in four areas in which it has proven most vulnerable to criticism, and proposes a framework to address these. First, the chapter analyses the role of political and distributive struggles in generating change and adjustment. Second, it reconsiders the nature and function of complementarities in shaping and constraining institutional change. Third, the chapter extends the VoC approach to a broader range of political economies than traditionally receives attention, from southern Europe to Central and Eastern Europe and Russia. Fourth, it restores the role of the state in VoC analysis, not just where that role is most overt, but as an important factor in the construction everywhere of what Hall calls ‘institutional ecologies’. The chapter then uses these insights to understand the shifts in the contemporary political economy of Europe.

Keywords:   conflict, complementarities, state and VoC, institutional change

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