The Reemergence of State-owned Firms in Central and Eastern Europe
Date: November 5, 2012
Time: 12:15 PM - 1:30 PM
Location: 165 Wallace Hall
Please feel free to bring a lunch.
The early 2000s have witnessed the reemergence of state-owned firms in the postsocialist states of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). Dr. Pula will argue that the persistence of state ownership of firms in CEE is not an institutional holdover of state socialism but rather an institutional response to the postsocialist peripheralization of CEE economies. The marginalization of domestic firms in relation to globally integrated firms has pushed CEE states to define a set of “strategic” industries that remain under state control. The long-run institutionalization of state ownership over industrial assets shows that radical liberal market reform in CEE did not result in the disintegration of state protectionist measures, but rather in their reassertion and reconfiguration. However, the paper shows that there exists a wide degree of variation in both the institutional organization of state ownership and the degree of corporate autonomy from political control. The paper's findings suggest that corporate governance reform has been more directly relevant for firm performance than the institutional manifestation of state ownership, and that large state-owned firms co-exist both with and without state dominated financial sectors.
Besnik Pula recently joined the Center for the Study of Social Organization as a postdoctoral scholar under the ASA/NSF postdoctoral fellowship program. Prior to that, Dr. Pula was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Binghamton University and a Visiting Scholar at the Institute for Public Knowledge at New York University. Trained at the University of Michigan as a comparative historical sociologist, Dr. Pula is currently researching postsocialist economic transformations in Central and Eastern Europe, including the origins and impact of the east European debt crisis of the 1980s on the demise of state socialism and economic restructuring and the transformation of industrial systems since the 1990s. His dissertation on state policies of legal reform and the regional dynamics of agrarian conflict in Albania’s communist mobilization was supported by research grants from the Fulbright-Hays program, International Research and Exchanges Board and the American Council for Learned Societies, and was awarded Honorable Mention for the Theda Skocpol Best Dissertation Award from the Section of Comparative and Historical Sociology of the American Sociological Association. Dr. Pula also holds an M.A. in Russian, Eurasian and East European Studies from Georgetown University and a B.A. in political science (with distinction) from Hunter College – City University of New York.
Dr. Besnik Pula's full bio: www.besnikpula.com/