The state as a large-scale aggregator: statist neoliberalism and waste management in Portugal

Ana Maria Evans, Pedro Verga Matos, Vítor Santos

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5 Citations (Scopus)
16 Downloads (Pure)


This paper explores state-economy relations in an understudied European country, i.e. Portugal. Main research questions are: How does the country fit into the Varieties of Capitalism conceptual framework? Are there specific patterns that define the case as a distinct model of statist economy? The research is influenced by Becker's open, historical institutionalist approach to capitalism (Becker, U. 2009. Open Varieties of Capitalism. Continuity, Change and Performances. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan). The paper offers a macro-account of major transformations in state ownership, in democratic Portugal, followed by analysis of state-economy relations at a sectorial level, namely in the waste management sector. Findings suggest that Portuguese capitalism has evolved from statist socialism into a formally liberalised economy but, in reality, it re-configured into a model of state-dependency perpetuated by the allocation of vast external resources. From large-scale owner to large-scale privatizer, the state adjusted its role as a large-scale aggregator.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-372
Number of pages20
JournalContemporary Politics
Issue number3
Early online date1 Jan 2018
Publication statusPublished - 27 May 2019


  • neo-liberalism
  • statism
  • Varieties of capitalism


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