The Democratic Process and the Market: Challenges of the Transition

Synopsis

The transition of the former socialist countries of East and Central Europe to a pluralistic, democratic system of governance and a modern market economy has involved historically-unparalleled changes. In contrast to past examples of systemic transition, democratization in these countries has not resulted from an organic process of development, resting on other social and economic changes, but from "socio-political implosion", brought about internally by the collapse of their own socialist regimes and externally by the impact of the dissolution and dismemberment of the Soviet Union.