Despite the economic and also increasingly political role of today’s Asian economies, research on the diversity of capitalism in Asia remains underdeveloped. If at all, the literature has included Japan, but neither systematically analyzed other Asian countries nor embedded Japan into the Asian context. Asia offers a rich and challenging empirical ground to study the emergence and change of new types of institutions (e.g. lack of a coherent institutional framework in China, the contrasting speed of institutional change in Japan and Korea, the rather uncontested dominant technological ideology even after Fukushima, or the idiosyncratic industrial specialization in India based on textile, IT and service). We hence suggest enlarging the analysis on the diversity of capitalism onto Asia, and to enrich, contest or enlarge established theories and concepts of the comparative capitalism approach with empirical evidence of Asian systems.

Research has started to show an interest into the diversity of Asian capitalisms (Amable 2003; Aoki, Jackson, and Miyajima, 2007; Lechevalier, 2011, Storz and Schäfer 2011; Whitley 1992, 1999). This research sheds light on how the specific properties of Asian capitalisms may be understood in the context of established theories and concepts of capitalism and how change within these systems can be incorporated. These two topics make up the core of the special issue: diversity of institutions and institutional change. In both parts, the special issue aims to integrate and re-evaluate important approaches that helped to better understand US and European economic systems. The special issue is not looking for papers to recapitulate existing critiques of the main theoretical frameworks constituting the comparative capitalism literature (Crouch 2005; Deeg and Jackson 2007; Hermann 2008), but uses empirical cases and data from Asia as a chance to extend, revise, or develop new theories that are relevant to the broad concerns of the comparative capitalism approach. We are therefore especially interested in papers adopting a comparative perspective. In pursuit of this idea, we understand the special issue as an analytical program contributing to a theoretically informed and empirically grounded understanding of today’s economies in Asia. Hence, we have a rather “large question” in mind, so that the special issue will neither be able to cover all important countries in Asia, nor be able to develop a “final” understanding of institutional regimes, their design, and institutional change. However, we hope to contribute to an informed debate of the institutional foundations of Asian economies. The following is a list of indicative, but not exhaustive, topic areas:

• Asian capitalisms in cross-national comparison: transformation and institutional diversity of capitalisms; comparative capitalism approaches (e.g. varieties of capitalisms, national innovation systems, regulationist theory, business systems) and Asia
• Asian capitalisms and institutional change: patterns of institution building; forms of institutional change (e.g. path activation or innovative use of paths); weak and strong institutional complementarities; diversity and interaction of actors in inducing and implementing change, considering also socio-political factors
• Asian capitalisms and the organization of the firm: corporate governance, strategy and structure within the diverse institutional systems in Asia; forms and change of HRM practices, career systems, worker involvement; varieties of leadership within economic systems in Asia
•  Asian capitalisms and innovation: sectoral logics versus institutional logics; learning and knowledge creation; industrialization and de-industrialization
• Asian capitalisms, state regulation and political economy perspectives: implications of the role of the state in Asia; framing of Asian capitalisms in the context of state regulation, growth models and welfare regimes; inequalities;  capitalism and democracy
• Asian capitalisms and the international and regional division of labor: towards a new theory of the institutional comparative advantages?; new patterns of knowledge creation and innovation

Socio-Economic Review (SER) aims to encourage work on the relationship between society, economy, institutions and markets, moral commitments and the rational pursuit of self-interest. The journal seeks articles that focus on economic action in its social and historical context. In broad disciplinary terms, papers may be drawn from sociology, political science, economics and the management and policy sciences. The journal encourages papers that seek to recombine disciplinary domains in response to practically relevant issues, while at the same time encouraging the development of new theory.

Papers should be submitted by email to Cornelia Storz (email: Please prepare manuscripts according to the guidelines shown at The maximum length of articles including references, notes and abstract is 10,000, and the minimum length is 6,000 words. Articles must be accompanied by an abstract of no more than 150 words. The main document has to be anonymous and should contain title, abstract, and strictly avoid self references. Papers will be reviewed following the journal’s normal review process and criteria. Papers accepted into the revision stage are also invited to be presented and discussed at the SASE network Q on Asian Capitalisms in 2013 (for details, see

For further information for this Special Issue please contact any of the Guest Editors:
Bruno Amable:
Steven Casper:
Sebastien Lechevalier:
Cornelia Storz:

Full paper submissions due: June 1, 2012
Special Issue Publication: April 2013 (Issue 2)