Capitalist Diversity, Socio-economic Fragmentation, and the EU’s Neoliberal Reforms in Central and Eastern Europe
The project examines the development of functioning market economies in Central and Eastern Europe. Of particular interest in this context is the influence of the EU and transnational actors on the degree of fragmentation in state- and privately-owned sectors, organizations, and corporations. Here, fragmentation is understood as the splitting of an integrated whole into multiple disconnected parts, a process that can result in institutional incoherence, structural heterogeneity, and the coexistence of multiple logics of coordination. First, the study will show that the reforms stipulated by the EU have reinforced the already high degree of fragmentation in the Western Balkans and Romania, while structural reforms in Poland, Estonia, and Slovenia have led to low levels of fragmentation (and even to consolidation). In a further step, the project will pursue the question of whether and to what extent the various degrees of fragmentation are reflected in the functionality of the political economies in the countries of interest. The project employs qualitative case studies as well as quantitative comparative analyses. Project duration: October 2016 to September 2018.