Rival Views Of Postcommunist Market Society

Béla Greskovits
Content Type
Working Paper
Institute for European Studies at Cornell University
While reviewing various interpretations of the postcommunist transformation it is demonstrated that the manner social scientists think about postcommunism has much in common with the ideas of their predecessors who faced the emergence of capitalism over the past centuries. What explains the continuity of the major views? Why did the debate on the perspectives of capitalism and on the nature of its strengths and weaknesses reappear in the new historical case of postcommunist market society? This author argues that neither the specific historical nor the systemic context of capitalist expansion can account for the prevalence of competing interpretations. Rather the latter is the standard way social scientists think about systems and systemic change in general. But the trench-war between rival views of postcommunist market society also reflects the impact of new psychological, political, and institutional factors specific to the mass-production of social science ideas towards the end of the XXth century.
Communism, Economics
Political Geography