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Market delusions: rethinking the trajectories of post‐socialist societies

Colin C. Williams (Professor of Work Organisation at the University of Leicester Management Centre, Leicester, UK. E‐mail:


ISSN: 1463-6689

Article publication date: 1 June 2005




Recently, the recurring narrative that capitalism is stretching its tentacles ever moe widely and deeply into every crevice of daily life across the globe has been challenged in the context of Western economies and the Third World by an emerging post‐development corpus of thought. The aim here is to extend this critique of market hegemony by investigating the so‐called “transition” economies of East‐Central Europe.


The paper analyses the extent to which market practices penetrated the “transition” economies of East‐Central Europe in the years following the collapse of the socialist bloc, first through a review of the post‐development literature and then by examining the nature of work and trajectories of the “transition” economies.


Analysis highlights not only the shallow permeation of market practices but also the multiplicity of development trajectories being pursued at both the household and societal levels.


The outcome is to provide additional evidence from the post‐socialist East‐Central European bloc to support the critique of market hegemony and open up the future to alternative possibilities beyond marketisation.



Williams, C.C. (2005), "Market delusions: rethinking the trajectories of post‐socialist societies", Foresight, Vol. 7 No. 3, pp. 48-60.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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