This article contributes to the debate on varieties of capitalism in Eastern Europe in three ways. First, four types of capitalist regimes that differ in particular institutional configurations and performances are empirically identified: the state-crafted neoliberalism of the Baltic States, the more directly world-market driven neoliberalism of the CIS countries, the embedded neoliberalism of the Visegrad countries, and neo-corporatism in Slovenia. Second, the diversity of capitalist regimes--is explained as a result of the complex interplay of external factors--specifically world commodity and financial markets, international institutions and foreign direct investment--and different state capacities to implement reform choices. Third, caution is given against an uncritical application of the dominant approach of comparative political economy, varieties of capitalism, since it is ill suited to study the emergence of institutions, their international embeddedness, and the semiperipheral character of East European capitalisms.