The Baltic Region

2020 Vol. 12 №2

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The theory of peripheral capitalism: on the applicability of the Latin American model to the Baltic States. An attempt at an inter-disciplinary analysis



The relevance of this study of post-Soviet transition lies in the focus on the technically theoretical problems that are nevertheless the key to understanding regional development processes in the East of the Baltic Sea. The research aims to verify the theory of peripheral capitalism as applied to the Baltic States. The first theoretical objective is to draw a distinction between the ideas of modernisation and transformation in a regional context. The second objective is to adjust the theory of peripheral capitalism to smaller states. To study the features of the transformation of economic and political systems in the Baltics, this article conducts comparative analysis. Systemic analysis and the principles of theoretical and empirical analysis are used as well. Building on this work, the study identifies the deficiencies of the theoretical and methodological potential of transition studies. These include claims that the theoretical and methodological potential of transition as applied to post-Socialist and post-Soviet Europe has been completely fulfilled. Geographical differences between Latin America and the Baltic States are so obvious that they eclipse economic similarities between the processes and development models characteristic of the two regions of the world. An analysis of current developments in Latin America makes it possible to forecast the economic and, to a degree, political consequences of the trends that are just emerging in the Baltics. This article seeks to prove the above thesis.