Political Economy of Croatia: Restoration of Capitalism as “Transformation” and “Privatization”

Review article

Dimitrije Birač ; Faculty of Political Science Zagreb

Fulltext: croatian, pdf (389 KB) pages 63-98 cite

The paper deals with various analyses by Croatian economists of the so-called process of transformation and privatization in the 1990s. In recent decades, especially since the first multi-party parliamentary elections in April 1990, the process of political-economic transformation has not only decisively changed the socio-economic structure of Croatia, but also influenced the Croatian polit-economic thought. By reviewing works by Croatian economists, political economists and sociologists, this paper has the ambition to make a contribution to a new approach of studying the process of transformation and privatization. This paper develops the thesis that the process of transformation and privatization was essentially a restoration of capitalism through primary accumulation of capital. What is also called wild capitalism, cronyism, and even tycoon capitalism – was in fact the usual course of the emergence and development of peripheral capitalism. Its specific feature is connected with the nation-state which had the role of system-maker as well as ruling-classmaker, rather than the other way around – that the ruling class had created its own state and economic system. At the same time, we reject as simplified various conclusions that the transformation and privatization process should have been and could have been more just and fair. In the end, one can better understand the paradox of Croatia starting the process of transformation and privatization as one of the countries with the best features and finishing as one of the most unsuccessful examples.

Transformation; Privatization; Capitalism; Primary Accumulation of Capital; Nation-State

Hrčak ID: 245634