Embeddedness, Redistribution and Double Dependence: Polányi-reception Reconsidered


  • György Lengyel


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This article – a modified version of a lecture – is a contribution to the reception of Polányi in the West and the East, more precisely, to the inquiry about what impact Polányi’s views have had on American and Hungarian economic sociology, which are the contact points between the two, and what research perspectives they offer. It concentrates on the perception of embeddedness and redistribution, not touching on other views unless they are conducive to the comprehension of certain connections. Polányi’s oeuvre is so rich and it has inspired such a wide range of debates that a conclusive review is impossible within a single article. It is hoped however that  the polemic on the concept of embeddedness may be illuminating and also the aftermath of the forms of integration, particularly redistribution, important. The concept of double dependence is touched upon as well, for it grasps an essential feature of the post-socialist Eastern European economies. It is worth mentioning it in this context, for Polányi’s influence left its mark upon it and it is also related to the conceptual apparatus of the substantive view.


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Polanyi Revisited: Global Capitalism from an East European Perpective