The Politics of the Competition State: The Agents and Mechanisms of State Transnationalization in Central and Eastern Europe

  • Jan Drahokoupil

Around 2000, after a period of distinct national strategies, the states in the Visegrád Four (V4) region converged towards a competition state.1 The dominant state strategies aim at promoting competitiveness by attracting foreign direct investment (FDI). The states are thus increasingly internationalized, forging economic globalization by facilitating capital accumulation for transnational investors. After the collapse of the Eastern Bloc, many had expected foreign investors to play crucial role in ‘transition’. However, little of that had materialized. State strategies aimed at promoting national accumulation dominated the region up until the mid-1990s. Inward-oriented regimes had been transformed into the states that were fine-tuned to compete for mobile transnational capital by the end of the decade. So why did the state strategies converge towards the competition state only around 2000? What does it tell us about the processes in which the states adapt to the environment of economic globalization, on the one hand, and help to reproduce it, on the other? What are political and social preconditions for the rise of the competition state, and what are its implications?


Foreign Direct Investment Foreign Investor Foreign Capital State Strategy Foreign Direct Investment Inflow 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



I am grateful to László Bruszt, Arjan Vliegenthart and other participants of ERC colloquium for their insightful feedback on earlier versions of this chapter.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Mannheim Centre for European Social Research (MZES)University of Mannheim, A5, 6MannheimGermany

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