On New Travels in Space-Time: Theoretical Rediscoveries after the Crisis in (Comparative) Capitalism(s)


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Create Date13.12.2017
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Daniel Šitera

This review essay on the books New Directions in Comparative Capitalisms Research and The Future of Capitalism After the Financial Crisis uses the prism of ‘travelling theory’ to appraise whether both edited volumes meet their proclaimed aim to challenge the alleged reductionisms inherent in the Comparative Capitalisms (CC) research and reinvigorate the CC agenda’s radical potential to analyse contemporary capitalism in critical and global perspectives. The verdict is affirmative as both volumes (i) introduce new as well as forgotten approaches to combined inter-spatial and inter-temporal comparisons into the CC literature, which then (ii) allows for the rediscovery of a multitude of roads to (knowledge about) really existing capitalisms. However, the essay urges some of the authors to avoid tracing capitalism only at its worst, which leads to an exaggerated intellectual pessimism and fatalism. Finally, putting both volumes into the context of post-socialist Central and Eastern European (CEE) capitalism, the review documents the continuing relevance of empirical discoveries in CEE for developing an expanded critical-global CC scholarship.