Philipp Fink, Autonomy, Capacity and Consent in:

Philipp Fink

Late Development in Hungary and Ireland, page 104 - 105

From Rags to Riches?

1. Edition 2009, ISBN print: 978-3-8329-4173-4, ISBN online: 978-3-8452-1720-8

Series: Nomos Universitätsschriften - Politik, vol. 168

Bibliographic information
104 the era “created greater economic growth than would have occurred under continuing free trade and reliance on foreign markets”. 2.4 Autonomy, Capacity and Consent To conclude this analysis on the development regimes prior to the current development regime of FDI-led export-orientation, despite the obvious differences, both countries show similarities. In both cases, the previous development regimes failed to produce an internationally competitive indigenous sector. They both remained backward peripheral economies upon resorting to the development strategy of FDI attraction. Both countries were constrained in regards to their external autonomy, although to different degrees. On the one hand, Hungary formulated its policies in accordance with the principles of the regional hegemonic power. On the other, the Irish Free State and the later Irish Republic was able to contend with less direct interference. Irish external autonomy was defined by international economic events. Irish economic policies had to be formulated to take the country’s economic dependency on UK markets and imports into account. Initially, the internal autonomy was high. In Hungary, authoritarianism and the undemocratic structure of the political system insulated the state apparatus from interference, enabling the predominance of the incumbent elites. The high level of internal autonomy in the Irish case was provided by the locally focused political system, the strongly centralised bureaucracy and the existence of two catch-all parties and the export of dissent. However, internal autonomy in Ireland during its phase of protectionism and in the later phase of Hungarian state-socialism was eroded by the evolution of different interest groups within the political elites. These factions followed dissimilar agendas in regard to the economic policies and the role of the state in the modernisation and development process. In terms of capacity, both countries differed substantially. Hungary’s response to international economic repercussions was to increase the capacity of the state to generate economic growth. Instead of accommodating and adapting to international economic events, the economy was increasingly shielded from external influences in order to preserve the incomes of its major economic actors. The era of statesocialism was an extreme form. The centrally administered economy resulted in over-capacity, causing the malfunctioning of the Hungarian economy and resulting in the development regime’s eventual demise. In contrast, state capacity throughout Ireland’s past development regimes was restrained and low. On the one hand, this continuity displayed the predominance of those interests within the Irish state which favoured fiscal conservatism and non-interventionism. On the other hand, low capacity also reflected the traditionalist notions regarding the restrained role of the Irish state in the society and economy. Turning to the issue of consent/dissent, again the picture differs for both countries. The erosion of the state’s capacity to deliver the required goods of prosperity 105 following the underperformance of the respective developmental agent resulted in popular dissent. This in turn eroded the internal autonomy of the respective development regime. In authoritarian Hungary, popular only led to the peaceful replace of state-socialism. In contrast, the continuity of the other development regimes was attained via suppression. In Ireland, popular dissent towards the development regime arose only after the “Exit” safety valve of emigration temporarily ceased to work, leading to a decline in popular consent. Hence, emigration was one of the factors of stability and responsible for the Irish state’s high level of autonomy, as dissent was exported.

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Irland und Ungarn verfolgen eine Entwicklungsstrategie, die in bewusster Abhängigkeit von Globalisierungsprozessen in Form von ausländischen Direktinvestitionen steht und sich als Paradigma in der Peripherie durchgesetzt hat. Doch dieser Entwicklungspfad hat zu einer ungleichen und abhängigen Entwicklung geführt. Dies ist laut dem Autor das Resultat des mangelnden Gestaltungswillens beider Staaten, für einen gleichgewichtigen Wachstumsprozess zu sorgen. Die historische Analyse zeigt, dass eine auf ausländische Firmen fußende Entwicklungsstrategie nicht ausreicht, um traditionelle Peripheralität zu überwinden. Der Autor fordert eine Reform des Entwicklungsparadigmas, um eine gleichgewichtige Entwicklung zu ermöglichen.