First published in 1997, this collection of articles and essays analyses the political economy of reform and change in Eastern Europe during the years of Gorbachev’s perestroika and the years immediately following the fall of the Berlin wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Written by Polish economist Jan Winiecki, between 1984 and 1996, this work explores the issue of the feasibility of reform and change during the period of decline and collapse of communist economic order and, later, the emergence of the capitalist economic order in the post-communist Eastern Europe. Split into three parts, the work considers firstly the failures of Gorbachev’s political economy of reform, secondly the determining factors in the collapse of the Soviet system, and finally the feasibility of the systematic change which began in the wake of its collapse.
Part 1: Political Economy of Reform: Failures and Their Causes 1. Possible Scenarios for Eastern Europe 2. A Touch of Socialist Midas: Hungarian and Polish Reform Failures 3. Why Economic Reforms Fail in the Soviet System: A Property Rights-based Approach 4. Managers and Reforms 5. Buying Out Property Rights to the Economy from the Ruling Stratum Part 2: Determinants of Collapse of the System 6. How it all Began: Sources of the Recent Breakdown of the Soviet Economic System 7. How it all Began: The Impact of Gorbachev’s Perestroika 8. How it all Began: Reagan and the Soviet Collapse Part 3: Political Economy of Systematic Change: Feasibility of the Process 9. Shaping the Institution Infrastructure 10. Political Economy of ‘Big Bang’ 11. Privatization: Avoiding Major Mistakes 12. Balancing the Economics and Political Economy of Privatization 13. Lessons From Privatization 14. Hayekian Lessons of Polish Transition 15. Communist Legacy Impact of Moral Corrosion on Transition 16. Property Rights, Private Sector and Public Attitudes Toward Institutional Change