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Transition economies: Political economy in Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia

Martin Myant & Jan Drahokoupil

Wiley-Blackwell, 2010.

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Transition Economies provides students with an up-to-date and highly comprehensive analysis of the economic transformation in former communist countries of Eastern and Central Europe and countries of the former Soviet Union. With coverage extending from the end of central planning to the capitalist varieties of the present, this text provides a comparative analysis of economic transformation and political-economic diversity that has emerged as a direct result. It covers differences between countries in terms of economic performance and integration into the world economy. Transition Economies seeks to explain and deepen understanding of these differences, chart the emerging forms of capitalism there, and provide country responses to the world financial crisis of 2008-2009.

Hallmark Feature

  • Presents a thorough analysis of the economic and political transformations in former communist countries of Eastern and Central Europe and countries of the former Soviet Union.
  • Provides a comparative analysis of economic transformation and emerging political-economic diversity.
  • Identifies and explains differences between groupings of countries in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, and on the various forms of capitalism emerging in these countries.
  • Explicates these economies’ responses to the world financial crisis of 2008-2009.

Table of Contents


Part I: The political economy of state socialism

Chapter 1: The system of state socialism

Chapter 2: The successes and failures of central planning

Chapter 3: From reform to breakdown

Part II: Macro-economic transformations: From shock to recovery

Chapter 4: The courses of transition

Part III: Transition: Policies and alternatives

Chapter 5: A strategy for transition

Chapter 6: Alternatives and adaptations

Part IV: The state

Chapter 7: State capacity and the rule of law

Chapter 8: State consolidation: Russia in a comparative perspective

Chapter 9: Economic role of the state

Chapter 10: Welfare states and regimes

Part V: Micro-economic evolution: New forms of business

Chapter 11: Enterprises: Shock and survival

Chapter 12: The growth of new business

Chapter 13: Privatization

Chapter 14: A new banking system

Chapter 15: Enterprises in the period of economic recovery

Part VI: Conclusions

Chapter 16: Emerging Varieties of Capitalism

Chapter 17: The Financial Crisis and a Verdict on Transition

Data appendix


Praise for Transition Economies

“The book’s strongest feature lies in its political economy approach to transformation in the countries of Central East Europe and the former USSR… Given the highly up-to-date information and statistics that this book provides, I find it to be an equally useful resource for researchers, graduate students and libraries.”

—Anca M. Voicu, Rollins College

“The authors have managed to include the entire, very diverse region of Eastern Europe and the CIS in their analysis. They have done it by using pre-defined categories, but also coming up with their own way of classifying and ranking these countries… The timeliness of their analysis, attempting to classify the transition economies also in terms of how they are coping with the [2008-09 financial] crisis, gives the book extra value.”

—Carolyn Ann Kadas, University of Bologna

“The text… combines theory-led reasoning with empirical data in an excellent way. The authors highlight the limits of the Varieties of Capitalism approach in explaining the development trajectories in Eastern Europe and the CIS countries and provide convincing alternative explanations. Their critique of the Washington Consensus policies is well argued and supported by empirical data.”

—Joachim Becker, University of Vienna

“The clarity and good organization of the chapters, as well as the simplicity and clearness of the language and analysis make this book attractive both to the lecturer and his/her audience…. I was most impressed with the coverage of topics; this is exactly the set of material that I teach and that would most definitely be unique and a great contribution... I think this would be an excellent text for my class.”

—Mitchell Orenstein, Johns Hopkins University

“Instead of focusing on the 1990s where most of transition took place intensively, the authors take a much longer horizon by linking the transition experience in the 1990s with the most recent developments such as the world financial crisis of 2008. In doing so, the authors provide a highly updated text on economic transition.”

—Julan Du, City University of Hong Kong