Transition Economies: Political Economy in Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia

Article excerpt

Martin Myant and Jan Drahokoupil (2010): Transition Economies: Political Economy in Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia, Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Black well

More than 20 years have been gone since the wind of change was blowing across the former socialist countries in Eastern and Central Europe and the former Soviet Union. The political and economic collapse came fast and rather surprising. Hence, these countries were unexpectedly faced with a transition from a central planning system towards the free market model. Since these times, many suggestions have been made by economists and politicians on how to deal best with the transformation problem. However, taking a closer look on the current situation in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union indicates that the results are not as good as expected.

The book by Martin Myant and Jan Drahokoupil takes the opportunity to evaluate the efficacy of different forms of liberalization. It contains many analyses and insights illuminating the transformation processes from a politicoeconomic point of view. The first section critically describes the system of state socialism, its successes and its failures that finally led to its breakdown. Section two gives an extensive overview over the macroeconomic developments in the last 20 years, while section three points out transition strategies and adaptations of alternatives. Section four provides useful information on and a straightforward analysis of the role of the state and its evolution. …