Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union
In the 1970s up to a third of mankind lived in societies ruled by communist governments. Claiming to base their policies on the ideas of Karl Marx, communist governments explicitly rejected capitalism. They regarded it as an unjust, exploitative and ultimately non-viable form of development, fated to be condemned by the progress of history itself. Most communist regimes lost power after 1989. Since then the countries they ruled have been struggling to rejoin the capitalist world. They are commonly referred to as the ‘transitional economies’.