The Eastern European Economy in Context: Communism and the Transition

The Eastern European Economy in Context: Communism and the Transition

The Eastern European Economy in Context: Communism and the Transition

The Eastern European Economy in Context: Communism and the Transition

Synopsis

Since 1989 the former communist countries of Eastern Europe have witnessed a profound and dramatic upheaval. The economic coherence of this region, formerly maintained through the adoption of the Soviet system of government, has fractured. In The East European Economy in Context: Communism and Transition , David Turnock examines the transition from communist to free-market economies, both within and between the states of Eastern Europe. As well as containing an informative survey of the impact of communism, The East European Economy in Context provides* Political profiles of individual countries* A clear study of the contrasts between northern and balkan groups* Summaries of regional variations in the transition process* An exploration of the new state structures and resources* Discussion of political stability, inter-ethnic tensions and progress in economic change

Excerpt

This book deals with the former communist countries of Eastern Europe apart from the successor states of the Former Soviet Union (FSU). a total of thirteen states (including the eastern part of the now reunified Germany) embrace an area of 1.27mn.sq.km. and a population of 137.8mn. (1985) and with an overall density of 102 persons/sq.km. respectively. the maximum longitudinal spread of Eastern Europe is almost twenty degrees (about 1,300km.) and the distance from the Italian/Slovenian border to the Black Sea at 45 degrees north is some 1,200km. However, at its narrowest (in Hungary) the east-west extent is only 360km. North-south distances tend to be greater, from 40 degrees north in southern Albania to 55 degrees in northern Poland, a distance of some 1,650km. As was also the case before 1989, the region borders on Austria, Greece, Italy and Turkey. However, the unification of Germany means that the northwestern limits are now expressed through the boundaries of the 'New Lander', comprising the Former German Democratic Republic (FGDR). in the east, the breakup of the fsu means that Eastern Europe's neighbours are Belarus, Lithuania and Ukraine, along with Russia by virtue of the Kaliningrad enclave. (See map 1.1.)

Eastern Europe may be regarded as a region with some coherence arising from the adoption, by monopoly communist parties, of elements of the former Soviet system of government, including socio-economic evolution through development of a command economy guided by central planning. There was some relaxation after Stalin's death in 1953 through Red Army withdrawals from the Balkans, though not from fgdr and countries needed for transit purposes. Maintenance of communist power was guaranteed by the Brezhnev doctrine which legitimised Warsaw Pact intervention in Former Czechoslovakia (FCSFR) in 1968 on the grounds that a threat to the system in one country was a challenge to the alliance as a whole. It was only the declaration by Mikhail Gorbachev (leader of the fsu in the late 1980s) that Eastern Europe was independent which led to radical change throughout Eastern Europe in 1989. It seems that a phase of world war, which has dominated the twentieth century, has at last come to a close, thanks primarily to the Russian decision to abandon a system which arose primarily as a response to the

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.