chapter  8
27 Pages

Projecting ‘transition’ in the Ukrainian Donbas: policy transfer and the restructuring of the coal industry

ByADAM SWAIN

Projectification has been the prime mechanism for the ‘neoliberalisation’ of post-Soviet ECE (Peck and Tickell 2002). Peck and Tickell distinguish between ‘neoliberalism’ as an ideology and ‘neoliberalisation’ as a process. Neoliberalism, they argue, ‘combines a commitment to the extension of markets and logics of competitiveness with a profound antipathy to all kinds of Keynesian and/or collective strategies’ (2002: 381). In contrast, neoliberalisation is, they argue, ‘both an “out there” and “in here” phenomenon whose effects are necessarily variegated and uneven, but the incidence and diffusion of which may present clues to a pervasive “metalogic”’ (2002: 383). They go on to say that neoliberalisation ‘should be understood as a process, not an end state . . . [I]t is . . . contradictory, it tends to provoke counter-tendencies, and it exists in historically and geographically contingent forms’ (2002: 383). Accordingly they argue for analysis that focuses on ‘shifts in systems and logics [and] dominant patterns of restructuring’ (2002: 383). This chapter argues that the projectification of ECE is a shift in systems, logics and patterns of restructuring that contributes to the neoliberalisation of post-Soviet ECE. Projectification enacted a channel which, in Peck and Tickell’s terminology, links the neoliberal ‘heartlands’ in North America and western Europe to their ‘zones of extension’ (Peck and Tickell 2002: 381). The neoliberalising project can also be viewed as an example of what Carrier and Miller (1998) call ‘virtualism’ – the process by which attempts are made to force, in this instance post-Soviet, economies to conform to the premises of textbook economic models.