Challenges for Russian Economic Reform

Challenges for Russian Economic Reform

Challenges for Russian Economic Reform

Challenges for Russian Economic Reform

Synopsis

Challenges for Russian Economic Reform contains papers published by the Post-Soviet Business Forum at the Royal Institute of International Affairs that have been revised for this volume. The contributors, specialists in Russian economic affairs, examine the principal economic and institutional factors that have hindered transformation in Russia. The sheer size of the country has complicated the problem of exposing domestic producers to foreign competition and has weakened the ability of central authorities to control the regions. Economic stabilization has been hampered by the difficulties in establishing sound economic relations with the former Soviet republics.

Excerpt

The evaluation of the progress made towards the introduction of a market economy in Russia's inner empire and of the prospects for economic recovery depends to a considerable degree on the initial perspectives and expectations of the individual observer. Few analysts of the Soviet economy expected that the transition from a highly regulated and centralized planned economy, with an exceptionally high concentration of resources in the military sector, to a series of separate independent capitalist market economies would be achieved without great hardship and difficulty. Students of Russian history also pointed to the historical precedents of centrally imposed attempts to modernize Tsarist and Soviet society from Ivan the Terrible through to Gorbachev which demanded sacrifices from the population but which failed to achieve a social and economic structure that would be capable of adapting to changing circumstances. However, many observers underestimated the severity of the problems that overwhelmed the Soviet economy in 1990-91 and the difficulties that this would create for the former Soviet republics in creating economies that were more responsive to the demands of domestic consumers and world markets, while simultaneously attempting to reverse one of the largest-ever . . .

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