East-West Relations and the Future of Eastern Europe: Politics and Economics

East-West Relations and the Future of Eastern Europe: Politics and Economics

East-West Relations and the Future of Eastern Europe: Politics and Economics

East-West Relations and the Future of Eastern Europe: Politics and Economics

Excerpt

Both domestic and foreign policy considerations led Eastern European nations in the 1970s to involve their economies more deeply with the developed capitalist countries of the West, although Eastern Europe remained closely linked politically, economically, and militarily with the USSR. Increasing economic interdependence with the West encompassed trade, technology transfer through industrial cooperation, and credit to finance them. However, the ability of Eastern Europe to develop ties with the West was subsequently curtailed by the sharp increase in world oil prices and the resulting inflation and slowdown in economic growth in industrialized market economies. As a result, policymakers in Eastern Europe have had to reevaluate the possibilities for economic relations both with the West and with the East.

In this book a team of scholars analyzes the interaction of economic and political forces at three interlocking levels — international, regional, and national. Part One examines the evolution of East—West political and economic relations in the 1970s and prospects for the 1980s. Part Two considers the implications of developments in East—West relations for Soviet—East European regional economic, political, and military ties in the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Treaty Organization.Parts Three and Four then discuss key facets of the national political and economic strategies of East European countries in the context of their regional and international relations.

This volume is one product of a research project on the world economy and Soviet—East European relations at The University of Michigan Center for Russian and East European Studies funded by the Rockefeller Foundation.Drafts of some of the chapters were presented and discussed intensively at a conference in June 1979 at the Rockefeller Foundation Study and Conference Center, Bellagio, Italy.The authors appreciate the many helpful comments at the conference from Franz Alting von Geusau, Zbigniew Kamecki, Marie Lavigne, Carl H. McMillan, Vladimir Pertot, and Sarah M. Terry.

We are grateful to the Rockefeller Foundation for financial support, and to John Stremlau, Associate Director for International Relations, for his advice and encouragement. We wish to thank Darlene Breitner for her assistance in the administration of the research project and the conference, and Jo Thomas for her meticulous editing of the manuscript for this book.

M.B.
Z.G.
W.Z.

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