chapter  12
How far do analyses of postsocialism travel?
The case of Central Asia
ByDeniz Kandiyoti
Pages 20

It is widely accepted among scholars of Eastern Europe that state socialism was a distinctive social formation with its own institutional logic and dynamics of development. Verdery (1996) argued cogently for the ‘family resemblances’ between socialist countries, coalescing around weaknesses of centralized planning that included plan bargaining, over-investment, soft budget constraints, endemic shortages, paternalistic redistribution and the neglect of consumption. Numerous East European social scientists made sophisticated attempts to identify the distinctive processes by which state socialism was stably (if inefficiently) reproduced (Konrád and Szelényi 1979; Kornai 1980). The logic of these institutional processes was not, Stark and Nee (1989) asserted, derived from capitalist development, either as its polar opposite or its convergent future, but specific to state socialism.