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The system paradigm revisited

Clarification and additions in the light of experiences in the post-socialist region

Acta Oeconomica
Author: János Kornai

The term paradigm was introduced to the philosophy of science by Thomas Kuhn — he used this term to denote the specific approach applied by a school of reasearch to examine its subject matter. Researchers using the same paradigm seek answers to similar questions, and employ similar methods and concepts. In an article published in 2000, the author of this essay introduced the term system paradigm, which focuses on the systems functioning in a society. This study develops the theoretical considerations outlined in that earlier article on the basis of experience on post-socialist transition. The first part compares the socialist and capitalist systems, describing their main characteristics, and concludes that the capitalist system has become established in former socialist countries, except for North Korea and Cuba. The second part analyzes varieties of capitalism within a typology which classifies prevailing forms of politics and government. Three markedly different types are identified: democracy, autocracy, and dictatorship. Huntington wrote about the “third wave” of democratization. This study concludes the third wave has dried up: for the 47 post-socialist countries, only a tenth of the population live in democracy, while autocracy or dictatorship prevails in all other countries in this group. The third part of this essay applies the conceptual and analytical apparatus to Hungary, where capitalism exists, and autocracy is the prevailing politico-governmental form — here we can find important characteristics common to other capitalist countries or other autocracies. This finding is compatible with the observation that there are some, less fundamental, characteristics unique to Hungary, or “Hungarica”, which differ from the characteristics of all other countries.

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. Bajat , B. – Krunić , N. – Kilibarda , M. – Samardžić-Petrovicć , M. ( 2011 ): Spatial Modelling of Population Concentration Using Geographically Weighted Regression Method . Journal of the Geographical Institute , Jovan Cvijić, SASA 61 ( 3

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and Empirical Explanations . Journal of Economic Surveys , 17 ( 5 ): 709 – 748 . Federal State Statistics Service ( 2013 ): Number of Population of the Russian Federation by Cities, Towns and Districts. Statistical Bulletin

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Acta Oeconomica
Authors: Bas van Leeuwen, Aurelian-Petruş Plopeanu, and Peter Foldvari

Press . Galor , O. – Weil , D. ( 2000 ): Population, Technology, and Growth: From Malthusian Stagnation to the Demographic Transition and Beyond . American Economic Review , 90

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. ( 2009 ): A GIS Approach to Estimation of Building Population for Micro-Spatial Analysis . Transactions in GIS , 13 ( 4 ): 401 – 414 . Magrini , S. ( 2004 ): Regional

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): Russia in Figures . http://www.gks.ru/wps/wcm/connect/ rosstat_main/rosstat/en/figures/population/ Felipe , J. – Abdon , A. – Kumar , U. ( 2012 ): Tracking the Middle-Income Trap

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). UNESCO, Institute for Statistics: http://www.uis.unesco.org (Accessed: 10 April 2013 ). United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division ( 2012 ): World Urbanization

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Review of Current Approaches and Problems in the Use of Population Potentials . Geoforum , 18 ( 3 ): 269 – 289 . Puga , D. ( 1999 ): The Rise and Fall of Regional

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their characteristics. In such a triple division, the Third World was characterised by low output and living standards, by a large population and a quick growth thereof. Even back then, one already had to wonder to which world China belonged. Certainly

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. – Miller , G. – Zhang , Q. ( 2015 ): An Exploration of China’s Mortality Decline under Mao: A Provincial Analysis, 1950–80 . Population Studies , 69 ( 1 ): 39 – 56 . Berndt , E. R

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