Martin Schroder: Integrating Varieties of Capitalism and Welfare State Research: A Unified Typology of Capitalisms.

Author:Lalioti, Varvara
Position:Book review

Martin Schroder

Integrating Varieties of Capitalism and Welfare State Research: A Unified Typology of Capitalisms, Palgrave Macmillan: Basingstoke (Series: Work and Welfare in Europe), 2013; 240 pp.: 9781137310293, $79

The diversity of capitalisms has long been a matter of scholarly debate. As a theorist, Marx expected that national differences would vanish due to the growing uniformity of production; as an economic historian, however, he acknowledged that capitalism's 'emergence and ascendance was far from simultaneous and could, for this reason alone, take quite different forms in different countries' (quoted in Streeck, 2010: 6-7). A rich body of literature has been devoted to examining how different 'types' of capitalism converge and diverge, from Weber (1895) and Bernstein's (1899) analyses of the differences between the German and UK models, to Thelen's 2014 study on differing national experiences with liberalisation.

Schroder now provides an important addition by building on Esping-Andersen's welfare typology (1990, 1999), and on Hall and Soskice's 'varieties of capitalism' (2000), the two approaches that he summarises and evaluates in his opening chapter. Schroder then meticulously unfolds an argument for additionally integrating the categories of welfare and production regimes into a single, 'unified' typology, adopting country clusters similar to the ones already proposed by these predecessors.

Drawing impressively on a broad range of quantitative and historical data, Schroder demonstrates that countries can be broadly divided into three types: liberal market economies with liberal welfare states; coordinated market economies with conservative welfare states; and coordinated market economies with social-democratic welfare states. He admits that his analysis bears a striking similarity to the picture emerging from the most 'important' typologies of capitalist diversity; but while his analysis is sophisticated enough to grant that particular institutions often diverge from the welfare/production regime types, as he assigns them, Schroder also contends that such inconsistencies are secondary. He acknowledges that typology in general aims for ideal types; that groupings of countries need not be mutually exclusive; and that outliers will always appear.

Having outlined his own typology, which carefully balances approval and criticism of his chosen predecessors, Schroder then considers the causal interrelations between different types of production...

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