Regime change, competition state and political changes - a Polanyian approach

Sat9  Apr09:20am(10 mins)
Teaching Room 6


Gabor Vigvari


The transition form socialism into capitalism and a paralel transition from dictatorship into democracy was viewed in the political economic literature by many, as an unfeasible process. Potential loosers of the transitional process and economic chaos and recession would create a demand for political parties, who would overturn the process of this dual transition. This approach can be interpreted within a Polanyian narrative, as the possibility of a countermovement against marketization.

In spite of these fears, economic institutions evolved towards a very liberalized competition state like setup, that was supported by the big majority of political parties. Central and Eastern European countries thus became the straight A student of economic liberalization and following the recipe of the Washington Consensus.

This has been changing a lot, especially since the Great Recession of 2008. It can be argued, that the crisis hit the societies of the region hard for the second time, and this second hit caused the turnaround that was originally expected to happen in the 1990s.

This paper tries to collect and analyse data starting from the regime change in order to illustrate the effect of the transformation on the societies of these countries, especially from a welfare perspective. The goal is to illustrate the devastating effects of the regime change and the 2008 crisis, and to put the political changes of the post-2008 CEE into a

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