Growth Models Going East: The Complementarity and Transnational Politics of Core and Semi-Peripheral Models

Jasper Simons

During the financial-economic crisis, doubts about the dependency of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) on foreign direct investment emerged or were confirmed. Popular and elite contestation surfaced, yet the dependent growth models have largely been preserved. While CEE scholarship analyzed the semi-periphery’s domestic politics to understand model stability, few investigated the transnational politics behind such model preservation. Yet, transnational integration means, in fact, mutual dependency and complementarity between core and semi-periphery. This project seeks to establish the extent to which these models are indeed mutually dependent as well as to increase our understanding of how this affects macroeconomic strategies and domestic politics in core and semi-periphery alike. Specifically, it quantitatively estimates the economic benefits of transnational integration for core companies and host economies. Moreover, through elite interviews it analyzes the strategic interaction between home states, core companies, and host states to uncover the politics of interdependent growth model stability. With two comparative case studies of German-Hungarian manufacturing exports and Swedish-Estonian financial integration, it furthermore studies differences in transnational relations among growth model varieties. Project duration: October 2021 to September 2023.

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