Varieties and Commonalities of Capitalism

  • Jonas Pontusson


This chapter critically examines the analytical foundations and some of the empirical claims of the Varieties-of-Capitalism (VoC) School of comparative political economy. Virtually, the entire field of comparative economy subscribes to the idea that capitalism takes on different institutional forms and, furthermore, that the institutional arrangements of real-existing capitalist political economies vary according to some kind of systematic logic, so that it is possible to speak of a limited number of more or less coherent types of capitalism. In recent years, however, the term ‘Varieties of Capitalism’ has been successfully claimed by advocates of a particular approach to comparative political economy, pioneered by Soskice in various writings and articulated most comprehensively by Hall and Soskice in their introduction to Varieties of Capitalism (2001). The questions raised by this chapter pertain not to the existence of varieties of capitalism per se, but rather to the adequacy of the VoC framework elaborated by Soskice and Hall for understanding the diversity and dynamics of contemporary capitalism.


Wage Inequality Union Density Temporary Employment Unemployment Compensation Government Partisanship 
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© Jonas Pontusson 2005

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  • Jonas Pontusson

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