PředmětyPředměty(verze: 850)
Předmět, akademický rok 2017/2018
Economic Sociology and European Capitalism for MA - JSM018
Anglický název: Economic Sociology and European Capitalism for MA
Zajišťuje: Katedra sociologie (23-KS)
Fakulta: Fakulta sociálních věd
Platnost: od 2017 do 2017
Semestr: zimní
Body: 7
E-Kredity: 7
Způsob provedení zkoušky: zimní s.:
Rozsah, examinace: zimní s.:2/0 Zk [hodiny/týden]
Počet míst: neomezen / neurčen (neurčen)
Minimální obsazenost: neomezen
Stav předmětu: vyučován
Jazyk výuky: angličtina
Způsob výuky: prezenční
Další informace: http://dl1.cuni.cz/course/view.php?id=3917
Poznámka: předmět je možno zapsat mimo plán
povolen pro zápis po webu
při zápisu přednost, je-li ve stud. plánu
Garant: doc. Paulus Albertus Blokker, Ph.D.
Vyučující: doc. Paulus Albertus Blokker, Ph.D.
Neslučitelnost : JSB455, JSM039
Je neslučitelnost pro: JSM039
Anotace - angličtina
Poslední úprava: doc. Paulus Albertus Blokker, Ph.D. (23.10.2017)
The module provides an introduction to economic sociology, discussed in the context of European capitalism. The emphasis is triple: 1) economic sociology’s emergence as a sub-field of sociology and its recent growing into a prominent field within sociology, 2) a discussion of varieties of (democratic) capitalism in Europe, and 3) an analytical focus on the transnational, European economy. The course focusses on the sociological study of economic phenomena, the exploration of different types of European capitalism, and the analysis of transnational market-making in the EU. It will both pay attention to contributions of classic sociologists to reflecting on and analysing the economy, the market, and capitalism, as well as focus on recent developments and new theoretical avenues. The main sociological approaches to the economy will be reviewed, an introduction will be provided to the basic conceptual and heuristic tools used in economic sociology, and new ways of researching the interaction between the economy and the market, on the one hand, and society, on the other, will be explored.
A variety of empirical cases regarding both European societies and the European integration project will be discussed.

Class schedule Winter semester 2017
October 4 14,00 - 15,20/15,30 - 16,50
October 18 14,00 - 15,20/15,30 - 16,50
November 1 14,00 - 15,20/15,30 - 16,50
November 15 14,00 - 15,20/15,30 - 16,50
November 29 14,00 - 15,20/15,30 - 16,50
December 13 14,00 - 15,20/15,30 - 16,50
Cíl předmětu - angličtina
Poslední úprava: doc. Paulus Albertus Blokker, Ph.D. (21.09.2016)

·         To introduce the students to the way sociology can contribute to understanding the economy, the market, and capitalism;

·         The sociological analysis of European democratic capitalism in its varieties and transformation;

·         The sociological analysis of the European economy and its relation to European institutions;

·         To explore different ways in which the economy is related to, and embedded in, society;

·         To help students develop a set of critical skills to analyse the economy and capitalism;

·         To create a basis for the analysis of social change and the relations between market mechanisms, political institutions, solidarity and communitarian structures;

·         To stimulate understanding of different forms of capitalism, and the historical and contextual basis of capitalist economies.

Podmínky zakončení předmětu - angličtina
Poslední úprava: doc. Paulus Albertus Blokker, Ph.D. (21.09.2016)

Final essay:

Undergraduate: 2000 words + 5 scholarly references

MA: 3000 words + 10 scholarly references

Metody výuky - angličtina
Poslední úprava: doc. Paulus Albertus Blokker, Ph.D. (21.09.2016)


In-class debate

Media materials


Sylabus - angličtina
Poslední úprava: doc. Paulus Albertus Blokker, Ph.D. (23.09.2016)


 This course is part of a series of activities of the new Jean Monnet Chair in European Political Sociology.

















I. Introduction to economic sociology and European capitalism

The module starts off with a general introduction to economic sociology and a concise history of capitalism in Europe. Economic sociology will be discussed in terms of its historical development and key problématiques and concepts, main theoretical approaches/traditions, the nature and philosophical assumptions of economic sociology. European capitalism will be discussed in terms of the processes of industrialization and modernization.


Readings (undergraduate and MA)

Knick Harley, C. (2013), ‘British and European Industrialization’, in: Cambridge History of Capitalism, Vol. 1, Edited by Larry Neal and Jeffrey Williamson.


Smelser, Neil and Richard Swedberg (2005), ‘Introducing Economic Sociology’, in: Handbook of Economic Sociology, Princeton University Press.



Class 1: Classical sociology and economy-society relations

Class 2: Sociology, economic sociology and economics


















II. The social embeddedness of economies

This section will discuss the work of Karl Polanyi (a recently much discussed thinker) and his ideas on the embeddedness of the economy in society and his understanding of the three principles of resource allocation and the three ways in which these are implemented: markets, hierarchies and networks. Also different levels and modes of embeddedness/disembeddedness of economies, different forms of cooperation, and types of governance will be discussed.


Readings (undergraduate and MA)

Beckert, Jens (2007), 'The Great Transformation of Embeddedness: Karl Polanyi and the New Economic Sociology', http://econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/19938/1/dp07-1.pdf.


Polanyi, K. (1944), The Great Transformation, selected readings.


Readings (MA)

Caporaso, James A., and Sidney Tarrow. "Polanyi in Brussels: supranational institutions and the transnational embedding of markets." International Organization 63.04 (2009): 593-620.



Class 3: The social embeddedness of the economy

Class 4: The relevance of Polanyi today

















III. European Varieties of Capitalism

The third section discusses a relevantly recent discussion on different types or varieties of (European) capitalism. The main two types distinguished are Anglo-Saxon and Rhineland capitalism, referring to the UK and Germany, but particularly from a sociological view it becomes clear that economies need to be studied in their specific historical and societal context. Particular attention will be paid to how different relations between market and society are institutionalized in different European economies and to how varieties of capitalism play a significant role in the European integration process.


Readings (undergraduate and MA)

Hall, Peter A., and David Soskice (2001) (eds), ‘An introduction to varieties of capitalism’, in: idem. Varieties of capitalism: The institutional foundations of comparative advantage, Oxford University Press, pp. 1-70.


Höpner, Martin, and Armin Schäfer. "Integration among unequals: How the heterogeneity of European varieties of capitalism shapes the social and democratic potential of the EU." (2012).



Class 5: Varieties of capitalism in Europe

Class 6: East-West differences






















IV. Economic repertoires, political rationalities, and European economic integration

The fourth section explores a new set of approaches to economic sociology. A highly promising and innovative approach to study the cognitive and cultural embeddedness of economic activity is the ‘economics of conventions’ approach (for an overview, see Diaz-Bone & Thévenot, Jagd 2007). Conventions, and related concepts such as habits, customs, routines, and standard practices, can be understood as ‘understandings, often tacit but also conscious, that organize and coordinate action in predictable ways. Theorists of conventions explain economic order as the product of socially knowledgeable actors working within collective understandings of what is possible, probable, and likely to result in fiscal and social gain and loss’ (Biggart & Beamish 2003: 444). The economics of convention perspective can be usefully applied to look at European capitalism(-s), market-making, and the European Social Model.


Readings (undergraduate and MA)

Biggart, Nicole Woolsey and Thomas D. Beamish (2003), ‘The Economic Sociology of Conventions: Habit, Custom, Practice, and Routine in Market’, in:  Annual Review of Sociology, Vol. 29 (2003), pp. 443-464.


Davies, William. "When Is a Market Not a Market?: ‘Exemption’, ‘Externality’and ‘Exception’ in the Case of European State Aid Rules." Theory, Culture & Society (2013): 0263276412456567.


Readings (MA)

Pichierri, Angelo. "Social cohesion and economic competitiveness. Tools for analyzing the European model." European Journal of Social Theory 16.1 (2013): 85-100.



Class 7 : The economics of conventions

Class 8 : The spirit(-s) of European capitalism


V. Economic sociology and the economic crisis in Europe

The economic crisis that has come to the fore in Europe since 2007 has revealed the fragile nature of global capitalism but also the ‘strange non-death’ of the main ideological justification for capitalism ‘neo-liberalism’. Economic sociology can play an important role in studying both the reasons for and consequences of the economic crisis, but also help to shed critical light on the apparent absence of structural alternatives to a free-market based form of capitalism.


Readings (undergraduate and MA)

Blokker, P. (2014), 'The European Crisis and a Political Critique of Capitalism', special issue “Europe in Crisis”, European Journal of Social Theory, 17(3).


Readings (MA)

Streeck, Wolfgang (2013), "The crisis in context: Democratic capitalism and its contradictions." Politics in the Age of Austerity. Cambridge: Polity, pp. 262-286.



Class 9: Economic sociology and the crisis of capitalism

Class 10: Sociology, the market, and society

Class 11+12: The future of European capitalism




Further and recommended resources


“Economic Discourses and Economic Dispositives”, issue of economic sociology, the european electronic newsletter, 14:2, available at: http://econsoc.mpifg.de/archive/econ_soc_14-2.pdf.

Boltanski, Luc and Ève Chiapello (2005 [1999]) The New Spirit of Capitalism, trans. Gregory Elliott, London: Verso.

Diaz-Bone, Rainer. "Economics of convention." KOLNER ZEITSCHRIFT FUR SOZIOLOGIE UND SOZIALPSYCHOLOGIE (2009): 176-+.

Du Gay, Paul, and Glenn Morgan (2014) (eds.), New Spirits of Capitalism?: Crises, Justifications, and Dynamics. Oxford University Press.

Fligstein, Neil (2001), The architecture of markets: An economic sociology of twenty-first-century capitalist societies, Princeton University Press.

Smelser, Neil J., and Richard Swedberg (eds) (2010), The handbook of economic sociology, Princeton university press.

Streeck, Wolfgang (2013), "The crisis in context: Democratic capitalism and its contradictions." Politics in the Age of Austerity. Cambridge: Polity, pp. 262-286.

Streeck, Wolfgang (2014),  Buying time: The delayed crisis of democratic capitalism. Verso Books.











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