Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: A constructivist account of varieties of capitalism : state interventions into naïve theories of British and German home ownership and mortgage markets
Author: Jacoby, Ben M.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2748 6311
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2012
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
This thesis offers a constructivist framework to set out political features in capitalist diversity that the current literatures on „Varieties of Capitalism‟ and „Comparative Capitalisms‟ have not fully shed light into so far. Taking these scholarly contributions as a starting point, I argue that their investigations are able to highlight the distributional outcomes in terms of which actors relatively benefit from a particular socio-economic setting. However, that they have difficulties to point to the political aspects of different models of capitalism that relate to their constitutive nature. I then suggest a method that is able to underline how the very understandings of the individual economic subject and of the state are themselves political as their definitions marginalise alternatives ways to make sense of these economic concepts. Starting from the indeterminacy of the human mind and the theoretically many ways to interpret the lived environment according to sets of „naïve theories‟, it builds on the recent developments in constructivist institutionalism to present an account that puts the individual-state relationship at its core. As such, it breaks with the focus on production prevalent in the literature, and enables analysis of the normative depiction of a particular ideal-typical type of economic subject that then engages with consumer markets. What becomes essential is the exact ways in which a particular understanding of the state in the eyes of policy-makers leads to the facilitation of certain definitions of economic agency and market mechanisms, and the exclusion of their alternatives. The empirical chapters then apply this framework to the cases of the British and German home ownership and mortgage markets (1997-2007) to explore the discursive framing patterns that were put forward to legitimate a particular definition of the ideal-typical home owner and mortgagee in these two economies. Through the study of parliamentary debates, the findings demonstrate not only that differences exist in the conceptualisations of the economic subject, but hence also the political character of such differences as excluding each other. At the same time, such a process is shown to be deeply political in terms of the policy instruments that are not considered due to particular taken-for-granted conceptions of policy-makers themselves. In short, this constructivist account showcases the multiplicity of political aspects with regards to state interventions in contemporary capitalist economies.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Fonds National de la Recherche Luxembourg (FNR) (TR-PHD BFR08-053) ; University of Warwick
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HB Economic Theory ; JC Political theory