The fall of communism transformed the political and economic landscape in more than two dozen countries across Europe and Asia. In this volume published on the 25th anniversary of the fall, political leaders, scholars, and policymakers assess the lessons learned from the "great rebirth" of capitalism and highlight the policies that were most successful in helping countries make the transition to stable and prosperous market economies. Also discussed in this book are examples of countries reverting to political and economic authoritarianism. The authors of these essays conclude that the best outcomes resulted from visionary leadership, a willingness to take bold steps, privatization of state-owned enterprises, and deregulation. Recent backsliding in Russia and Hungary has cast a shadow over the legacy of the transition a quarter century ago, however. This volume grew out of a two-day symposium of experts and practitioners reflecting on the past, present, and future of reform, held in Budapest, Hungary, on May 6–7, 2014.
[The Great Rebirth] provides a good overview of the most momentous political development of the late twentieth century, allowing readers to compare the former Soviet states' early experiences with privatization, macroeconomic stabilization, and foreign trade and investment, as well as their later reforms dealing with taxes, pensions, and the rule of law. Foreign Affairs
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Anders Åslund and Simeon Djankov
I Early Reformers
1. Poland: Stabilization and Reforms under Extraordinary and Normal Politics Leszek Balcerowicz
2. Regression: Reform Reversal in Hungary after a Promising Start
3. Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic: The Spirit and Main Contours of the Postcommunist Transformation
4. Estonia: The Most Radical Reforms
5. Russia: The Arduous Transition to a Market Economy
II Latecomers and No-Shows
6. Slovakia: The Latecomer That Caught Up
7. Bulgaria: The Greatest Vacillations
8. Georgia: The Most Radical Catch-Up Reforms
Mikheil Saakashvili and Kakha Bendukidze
9. Ukraine: Greatest Hopes, Greatest Disappointments
10. The Microeconomics of Postcommunist Transformation
11. Twenty-Five Years Later: Macroeconomic Aspects of Transition
12. From Transition to Integration: The Role of Trade and Investment
13. Transition in Historical Perspective
14. The Political Economy of Change after Communism
Timeline of Events in the Region
About the Contributors