Capitalism from Outside?

Economic Cultures in Eastern Europe after 1989

Kovacs, Zentai: Capitalism from Outside?

Does capitalism emerging in Eastern Europe need as solid ethnic or spiritual foundations as some other “Great Transformations” in the past? Apparently, one can become an actor of the new capitalist game without belonging to the German, Jewish, or, to take a timely example, Chinese minority. Nor does one have to go to a Protestant church every Sunday, repeat Confucian truisms when falling asleep, or study Adam Smith’s teachings on the virtues of the market in a business course. He/she may just follow certain quasi-capitalist routines acquired during communism and import capitalist culture (more exactly, various capitalist cultures) in the form of down-to-earth cultural practices embedded in freshly borrowed economic and political institutions. Does capitalism come from outside? Why do then so many analysts talk about hybridization?

This volume offers empirical insights into the current cultural history of the Eastern European economies in three fields: entrepreneurship, state governance and economic science. The chapters are based on large case studies prepared in the framework of an eight-country research project (funded by the European Commission, and directed jointly by the Center for Public Policy at the Central European University and the Institute for Human Sciences) on East-West cultural encounters in the ex-communist economies.

The book could be purchased on amazon.com

Recent Publications

  • Sustainable Food Consumption, Urban Waste Management and Civic Activism

    This special e-issue of International Development Policy focuses on practices and policies that link sustainable food consumption with challenges in urban solid waste management in one of India’s fastest growing metropoles, Bangalore. Home to the country’s IT industry and to innovative forms of civic activism, the city hit the national and international media headlines in …
    Read more

  • Europadämmerung – Ein Essay

    Nach 1989 waren Landkarten plötzlich nicht länger in Mode. Die Grenzen sollten geöffnet werden für Menschen, Güter, Kapital und Ideen. An die Stelle der alten Karten traten Graphiken, welche die ökonomische Verflechtung innerhalb der EU illustrierten. Heute erleben wir einen ideologischen Gezeitenwechsel: Wo die Mehrheit der Europäer noch vor einigen Jahren optimistisch auf die Globalisierung …
    Read more

  • Europa in der Falle

    Die Krise zeigt, wie unbedacht es war, einem heterogenen Wirtschaftsraum eine Einheitswährung zu verordnen, ohne ihn politisch zu einen. Die Eurozone ist nun gespalten in Gewinner und Verlierer. Der Süden ächzt unter dem verheerenden Spardiktat, rechtspopulistische Kräfte machen im Norden mobil. Wir haben es mit einer Krise des Krisenmanagements zu tun: Die Technokraten in Brüssel …
    Read more