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Introduction and Overview

Oleh Havrylyshyn

A chapter in Divergent Paths in Post-Communist Transformation, 2006, pp 1-11 from Palgrave Macmillan

Abstract: Abstract On 9 November 1989 the Berlin Wall fell, marking the end of the communist experiment and the beginning of the end of the Soviet Empire. This was widely considered as a momentous historical event, not only because it was so unexpected, but because it symbolized an end to the Cold War, the freeing of several hundred million individuals from an authoritarian state which had kept them closed off from the rest of the world, and a liberation of private economic initiatives from the constraints of the socialist central-planning regime. People around the world joined in welcoming citizens of the Socialist bloc, and euphoria would not be an exaggerated characterization of the latter’s emotional state. However, the immediate impact was not yet clear, as liberation from socialism would be implemented at varying speed for different countries over the next few years. In particular, for the individual Republics of the Soviet Union, the political independence they sought was by no means assured in November 1989. But the direction of change was assumed by all to be greater openness and freedom — personal, political and economic. The subject of this book is to review how far such changes have gone in 15 years, and to explain why some countries have progressed more, others less.

Keywords: Transition Country; State Capture; Political Liberalization; Transition Debate; Socialist Bloc (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2006
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DOI: 10.1057/9780230502857_1

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