Research Cluster

Comparative Capitalism (CompCap)


Research Questions | Goals: The research group deals with the comparative institutional analysis of capitalist market economies. In the context of current processes of globalization and regional integration, not only national, but also regional, inter- and transnational forms of governance of markets, industrial sectors, corporations and policy fields are at play.  Besides changes in advanced capitalistic countries in the Atlantic region, the group focuses above all on development processes in the emerging BRIC countries as well as in Eastern Asia. A special emphasis is placed on policy areas such as economic and fiscal policy, education and labour market policy, immigration policy, environmental and energy policy as well as industrial, technology and entrepreneurship policy. Against this background, the research group at the Faculty of Social Sciences links the teaching and research profiles of international comparative political economy and economic sociology. With regard to these areas of focus, the research group also analyzes issues concerning the didactic and methodological implementation of political and economic education.

Theoretical Framework | Methods: The group pursues a pluralistic theoretical and methodological approach, which features many similarities to institutionalist approaches. Our research draws on numerous schools of comparative capitalism research as well as international and comparative political economy, in particular historical institutionalism. In contrast to the firm-centered variation of comparative capitalism research, the research group aims to contribute to research on political steering from an international and historical comparative perspective. The methodological approach pursued by the group is primarily based on qualitative comparative studies with a small to medium number of cases. The group also draws on expertise in the area of Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA).

Participating Professors and Associated Professors
Jens Borchert, Michael Dobbins, Alexander Ebner, Sandra Eckert, Tim Engartner, Andreas Nölke, Tobias ten Brink (external member), Matthias Thiemann (external member), Claudius Wagemann.

 Projects (Selection)  
Das fehlende Bindeglied - Organisierte Interessen in postkommunistischen Politikgestaltungsprozessen
Principal Investigator: Prof. Dr. Michael Dobbins
Funding: DFG


Lecture Series



Most important Publications

Borchert, Jens und Lessenich, Stephan (2016) Claus Offe and the Critical Theory of the Capitalist State. New York: Routledge.

Dobbins, Michael und Busemeyer, Marius (2015) “Socio-economic institutions, organized interests and partisan politics: The development of vocational education policy in Denmark and Sweden”, in Socio-Economic Review (online first 3 März 2014).

Ebner, Alexander (2015) Embedded Entrepreneurship: The Institutional Dynamics of Innovation, London und New York: Routledge.

Eckert, Sandra (2015) The Social Face of the Regulatory State. Reforming Public Services in Europe. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

Engartner, Tim (2014) Pluralismus in der sozialwissenschaftlichen Bildung. Zur Relevanz eines politikdidak­tischen Prinzips, Berlin: Duncker & Humblot.

Nölke, Andreas, ten Brink, Tobias/Claar, Simone/May, Christian (2015) Domestic structures, foreign economic policies and global economic order: Implications from the rise of large emerging economies, in: European Journal of International Relations (online first 25.11. 2014).

Thiemann, M. (2014) In the Shadow of Basel: How Competitive Politics Bred the Crisis. Review of International Political Economy Volume 21, issue 6, pp. 1203-1239.

ten Brink, T. (2013) Chinas Kapitalismus. Entstehung, Verlauf, Paradoxien, Frankfurt/New York: Campus.

Wagemann, Claudius (2011) Breakdown and Change of Private Interest Governments. London: Routledge



Publication Profile

Journals: Business and Politics, European Journal of International Relations, European Journal of Management and Public Policy, European Journal of Political Research, European Planning Studies, Governance, Higher Education, International Journal of Public Policy, International Journal of Technology and Globalisation, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Journal of Economic Studies, Journal of Education Policy, Journal of European Public Policy, Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade,  Journal of Public Policy, Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Policy and Society, Journal of Technology Innovation, Politische Vierteljahresschrift, Regional Studies, Regulation & Governance, Review of International Political Economy, Review of Political Economy, Socio-Economic Review, World Politics, Zeitschrift für Sozialreform,Zeitschrift für Unternehmensgeschichte, Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Unternehmensethik u.a.

Publishers: Cambridge University Press, Campus Verlag, Edward Elgar Publishing, Metropolis-Verlag, Manchester University Press, Oxford University Press, Palgrave, Routledge, Springer Verlag, VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften u.a.