The contributions to this book are revised versions of papers presented at three international conferences on privatization in Central and Eastern European countries organized by the Boston College Graduate School of Social Work Privatization Project, headed by Professor Demetrius Iatridis. The project focuses on the potential of privatization to produce crucial and just social changes. Privatization, as conceived by the project, consists of integrated processes of societal restructuring that can affect sociopolitical, economic, and ideological constructs, as well as human and physical capital development, transformation of family structures, market stabilization, organization of social care, and more. It includes managerial and technological innovation in the workplace; international cooperation and competition; and patterns of financing, producing, and distributing goods and services.
The international conferences are designed to give participants in the privatization process, as well as those interested in the process, an opportunity to meet in a collaborative environment that provides a forum for business professionals, academicians, and governmental officials to exchange ideas and research. So far, the conferences have proved to be an effective source of primary information and informal interaction for businesses that are making investment decisions and researchers who are studying privatization in Eastern Europe and the Balkans. The conference programs include invited and contributed papers and workshop presentations that explore the economic and social implications of privatization.
The international conferences began in 1991. They have included "The Welfare State: Transition from Central Planning to Market Approaches" in Budapest, Hungary, 1991, in cooperation with Eotvos Lorand University, Institute of Sociology and Social Policy; "Privatization and Socioeconomic Policy in Cen-