Title:emecon 1 2010 Müller
Author: Klaus Müller
Description:In recent analyses of the post-communist transformations cultural dimensions have gained more prominence than they were accorded in early theories of transition to the market and democracy. During the 1990s policy- and market oriented concepts of transition gave way to a perspective on institutions that structure and stabilize processes of decision-making and courses of action over extended periods of time. More recently institutional approaches have come to incorporate those cultural dimensions which provide institutions with legitimacy and authority and offer symbols of collective identity. In the first place, this shift of attention was motivated by differences in the development of the post-communist societies. Not a single ‘country in transition’ followed the script of ‘radical reforms’ as designed in the early 1990s by the international financial institutions (IFIs); the liberalist project of systemic transformation turned out to be an illusion (Szacki 2003). The varieties of post-communist capitalism as well as the new boundary of the enlarged Europe, which separates the new members of the EU from both the post-Yugoslav conflict zone and Russia-dominated Eastern Europe, can be related to different cultural contexts defining different perspectives of political change. How to understand ‘culture’ in this context and how to explain radical social change by ‘cultural factors’ has however remained a matter of controversy.
emecon 1_2010 Müller.pdf