Is There an Opportunity to Establish the Social-Capitalism in the Post Socialist Transition?


  • Alpar Lošonc Faculty of Technical Sciences, Department for Social Sciences, Novi Sad



Karl Polanyi, Transition, Social capitalism, Welfare state


Recently Claus Offe has put the question that concerns the fate of the European model of social capitalism: Can the model of social capitalism survive the European integration in the context of certain contemporary tendencies? Offe has presupposed that the mentioned model is challenged by the processes of globalization and the integration of the post socialist countries into the European Union. The working hypothesis of the article is that there is an opportunity to provide a coherent answer to this question. The article consists of two parts. In the first part the author starts with the Polanyi's socio-economic theory and emphasizes the importance of this approach for the analyzing of the tendencies of capitalism in Western Europe and in the post socialist countries. The author argues that with the Polanyi's theory we are able to explicate the forms of the embedded liberalism in Western Europe after 1945 and the orientation of non-embedded neo-liberalism and the functioning of the workfare state after the crisis of the Keynesian welfare state. Despite the tendencies of the globalization projected by neo-liberalism, the central element of the social capitalism namely, the welfare state, remains with the dimensions of the continuity. In the next part the author points out that there is an asymmetrical structure between the Western-Europe and non-Western part of Europe concerning the socialization of capitalism. The neoliberalisation in accordance with the model of the transfer of ideal-type of capitalism is more strongly implemented in the countries of transition. In addition, the mentioned theoretical approach provides opportunities to explain the failures of implementing of neo-liberalism in the post socialist countries. On the basis of the endorsing of the socio-economic aspects we can address the issue pointed out by Offe.

Key words: Karl Polanyi, Transition, Social capitalism, Welfare state.
JEL: P16, P30.


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How to Cite

Lošonc, A. (2006). Is There an Opportunity to Establish the Social-Capitalism in the Post Socialist Transition?. Panoeconomicus, 53(4), 407–425.



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