Introduction: transformation and development
This conclusion presents some closing thoughts on concepts discussed in the preceding chapters of this book. The book discusses employment, the environment, health, education, gender relations, and rural lives. It looks at how trade, ethnicities, labour, crime and pollution, amongst others, traverse state boundaries in both positive and negative ways. The book aims to reform the economies and political structures long before 1989, many as early as 1953, a few years after the Soviet model was first imposed. It prepares connections between processes of change in former Soviet Union and east central Europe and in many post-colonial states of global South, whilst also trying to keep hold of parallels with the West and processes of economic, political, social and cultural change there. The book argues that the nature and meanings of post-socialism are distinctive but that, to be fully understood, connections must be made to other parts of the world, where similar processes are being implemented and experienced in different ways.