Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952613 | Print ISBN: 9781412905794 | Online ISBN: 9781412952613| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Varieties of Capitalism
Capitalism is a profit-oriented, market-mediated system of economic organization that has developed at different times and places. Moreover, although increasingly organized on a global scale, it remains quite variegated in form, dynamics, and overall performance. There is no single best way to organize and govern capitalism, and, notwithstanding claims about long-term convergence, several varieties of capitalism persist due to the heterogeneity of the commodities produced for sale and the inevitable embedding of capitalist production and markets in broader sets of social relations. Such variation is evident in the wide range of capitalist firms, industries and sectors, complexes and clusters, localities, regions, national economies, plurinational systems, transnational networks, and trading blocs. Unsurprisingly, then, prompted by interest in competitiveness, best practice, and the social costs of capitalism, the rich variety of capitalism has long fascinated capitalists, workers, social movements, policymakers, social critics, and social scientists. In the social sciences, interest in varieties ...