Jan Drahokoupil
Analysing the capitalist state in post-socialism: Towards the Porterian Workfare Postnational Regime

International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 2007: 31, issue 2, pp. 401-424
ISSN: 0309-1317

This article starts by dealing with the methodological problems involved in analysing the state in post-socialism and proposes a solution that is subsequently employed in the analysis. It then describes the transformation of the state in the Czech Republic after the fall of Communism in 1989. It investigates the role of the state in the mutual constitution of the state project and the dynamic of capitalist accumulation. It proposes a periodization of dominant state projects and dominant accumulation strategies with respect to their functional adequacy in relation to socio-economic reproduction. I argue that, in the late 1990s, the Czech Republic experienced a crisis of a specific post-socialist state regime, or, as I call it, `the Klausian welfare national state'. This regime co-constituted a specific growth dynamic called Czech capitalism, which, however, failed to reproduce itself. A state form that is emerging from the search for an alternative is described as the `Porterian workfare postnational regime' (PWPR). This development marks a moment of convergence in the Visegrad-Four region. After a period of distinctive national projects, we are witnessing a relative convergence towards the PWPR.