Introduction: Re-constructing the post-Soviet industrial region
Industrial and regional restructuring has been a significant feature in central and eastern Europe since the adoption of market reform policies in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Marketisation signalled a new phase of industrial restructuring and uneven development as regional economies across central and eastern Europe followed divergent development pathways. Where privatisation proceeded rapidly and where flows of foreign direct investment were attracted, regional economies were reoriented to new markets and new economic sectors. Elsewhere, especially in the former Soviet Union, regions that had once been at the forefront of forced Soviet industrialisation became increasingly marginal to the new economy. Re-constructing the Post-Soviet Industrial Region brings together a series of essays by leading scholars on an archetypal example of such a region, the Donbas in eastern Ukraine. The contributions highlight the complex economic, political, social and cultural transformations that have taken place in what was once a model Soviet region. In particular they show the ways that the region’s unique history not only posed enormous challenges but also provided the resources needed for the region to adapt to changing circumstances at different geographical scales.