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After the fall of the Soviet Bloc in 1991 a number of prominent researchers explored the diverse forms of capitalism and their evolution. Much of this literature countered both mainstream and orthodox Marxist views that capitalism would tend to gravitate towards one form, such as the Western liberal-market model. But some arguments in support of of the idea of ‘varieties of capitalism’ were strongly criticized. It was also suggested that the tendency of different capitalisms to converge had been under-estimated. Global policy reactions after the Great Financial Crash of 2008 seemed to reinforce this thesis. Some saw in the widespread imposition of so-called ‘neoliberal’ austerity policies evidence of intended and actual convergence.

But was this too an over-reaction? Do diverse forms of capitalism still persist, aided by historical path-dependence and enduring institutional complementarities? Can capitalisms escape their own cultures and histories? Although welfare states continue to be attacked, is there evidence that they remain better-developed in some countries? What is the latest evidence of convergence of financial systems or of corporate forms? What enduring divergencies can be found in systems of regulation? Is the extent of inequality within countries diverging or converging?

The Fourth WINIR Symposium, hosted by Institute for International Management at Loughborough University London, explored these and other closely related questions. 

The symposium opened on the afternoon of Monday 16 December 2019 and ended in the afternoon of Wednesday 18 December. 

Keynotes lectures were given by:

Geoff Hodgson (Loughborough University London)*
Ian Gough
Gregory Jackson
(Free University of Berlin)
Jonas Pontusson
(University of Geneva)

*stepped in following late cancellations by Ruth Aguilera (Northeastern University) and Kathleen Thelen (MIT)

81 delegates from 29 countries attended this event.


The Symposium was organised by:
Olivier Butzbach (, Francesca Gagliardi (, David Gindis (, Geoff Hodgson (, Gerhard Schnyder ( and Liudmyla Svystunova (

Generous support for the WINIR Symposium on Global Capitalism and Its National Varieties in an Era of Crisis was provided by