What is it about?

This article evaluates critically the meta-narrative that there is no alternative to capitalism. Building upon an emerging corpus of post-structuralist thought that has begun deconstructing this discourse in relation to western economies and the majority (third) world, this paper further extends this critique to Central and Eastern Europe by investigating the degree to which people in post-Soviet Ukraine rely on the capitalist market economy for their livelihood.

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Why is it important?

Reporting the results of 600 face-to-face interviews, the finding is that only a small minority of households in this post-socialist society relies on the formal market economy alone to secure their livelihood and that the vast majority depend on a plurality of market and non-market economic practices.

Perspectives

The outcome is a call to re-think the lived practice of economic transition in post-Soviet societies more widely in order to open up the feasibility of, and possibilities for, alternative economic futures beyond capitalist hegemony.

Professor Colin C Williams
University of Sheffield

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This page is a summary of: The Illusion of Capitalism in Post-Soviet Ukraine, Debatte Journal of Contemporary Central and Eastern Europe, December 2008, Taylor & Francis, DOI: 10.1080/09651560802605002.
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