To what extent can contemporary socialist economies be reformed by the introduction of markets? The question is usually debated in either a Chinese or an East European context; this collection of eleven essays is unique in taking the first steps toward a comparative analysis. Twenty years of experience with reforms in Hungary and a decade of experimentation with reforms in China proivde a critical mass of evidence for analyzing the problems endemic to cnetrally planned economies and the dilemmas faced in efforts to reform them. In reflecting on the Chinese and East European experiences, these essays trace the shift from a conception of reform as a mix of planning and makrets within the state sector to a socialist mixed economy with implications for the emergence of new social groups and autonomous social organizations. The essays exemplify a new perspective in the study of state socialism that changes the focus from ideologies to economic institutions, examining how the activities of subordinate groups place limits on the power of state elites. The authors include scholars who have shaped debates in Eastern Europe and whose work is now stimulating much discussion in China, as well as representatives of a younger generation of economists, sociologists, and political scientists writing on the basis of field research recently conducted in factories, cities, and villages in China and Eastern Europe. The contributors are: Wlodzimierz Brus, Walter D. Connor, Zhiren Lin, Victor Nee, Susan Shirk, David Stark, Ivan Szelenyi, and Martin King Whyte. An introductory essays surveys recent theories and research on state socialism and outlines a new institutional perspective for understanding the dilemmas of partial reforms, the political cycles of reform and retrenchment, and the role of subordinate groups in stimulating changes outside the state sector.
David Lane outlines succinctly yet comprehensively the development and transformation of state socialism. While focussing on Russia and the countries of Eastern Europe, he also engages in a discussion of the Chinese path. In response to the changing social structure and external demands, he outlines different scenarios of reform. He contends that European state socialism did not collapse but was consciously dismantled. He brings out the West’s decisive support of the reform process and Gorbachev’s significant role in tipping the balance of political forces in favour of an emergent ascendant class. In the post-socialist period, he details developments in the economy and politics. He distinguishes different political and economic trajectories of countries of the former USSR, the New Member States of the European Union, and China; and he notes the attempts to promote further change through ‘coloured’ revolutions. The book provides a detailed account not only of the unequal impact of transformation on social inequality which has given rise to a privileged business and political class, but also how far the changes have fulfilled the promise of democracy promotion, wealth creation and human development. Finally, in the context of globalisation, the author considers possible future political and economic developments for Russia and China. Throughout the author, a leading expert in the field, brings to bear his deep knowledge of socialist countries, draws on his research on the former Soviet Union, and visits to nearly all the former state socialist countries, including China.
Bringing together the work of economists and sociologists in research programmes in a number of European institutions concerned with development, this collection analyses how social institutions contribute to an understanding of development. It shows how labour markets, labour relations and employment patterns respond to institutional forces, and thereby shape development paths and determine how different groups benefit from economic growth.
Challenging conventional accounts, Markets in the Name of Socialism chronicles a transnational dialogue among economists on both sides of the Iron Curtain about democracy, socialism, and markets. These exchanges led to the transformations of 1989 and, unintentionally, the rise of neoliberalism.
Business & Economics by Lecturer in Economic Geography Gernot Grabher
Author: Lecturer in Economic Geography Gernot Grabher
Publisher: Clarendon Press
Category: Business & Economics
This book is about change in Central and Eastern Europe, and about how we think about social and economic change more generally. In contrast to the dominant 'transition framework' that examines organizational forms in Eastern Europe according to the degree to which they conform to, or depart from, the blueprints of already existing capitalist systems, this book examines the innovative character, born of necessity, in which actors in the post-socialist setting are restructuring organizations and institutions by redefining and recombining resources. Instead of thinking of these recombinations as accidental aberrations, the book explores their evolutionary potentials. The starting premise of Restructuring Networks in Post-Socialist Societies is that the actual unit of entrepreneurship is not the isolated individual personality but the social network that links firms and the actors within them. Drawing insight from evolutionary economics and from the new methods of network analysis, leading sociologists, economists, and political scientists report on changes in organizational forms in Hungary, Poland, Eastern Germany, Russia, and the Czech Republic.
This work observes how the political ideologies, social values, and theoretical paradigms of Eastern European scholars and politicians changed throughout the period of transformation following the 1989 political revolutions in Eastern Europe. The authors try to reinterpret the institutions, movements, and ideologies that allegedly contributed to the erosion of the old regimes in Eastern Europe, asking whether these--alternative--legacies of communism support the transition to capitalism.
This book brings together some 15 papers drawn from the 330 papers presented at the Third Annual Conference of the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics in Stockholm, Sweden in June 1991. Part 1 outlines a basic theory of institutional change; Parts 2 and 3 examine case studies in international experience with institutional change. The authors of the original papers include Douglas North, Amitai Etzioni, Oliver Williamson, as well as eminent scholars from Eastern and Western Europe, representing views and analyses from ten different countries.