First published in 1997, this collection of articles and essays analyses the political economy of reform and change in Eastern Europe during the years of Gorbachev’s perestroika and the years immediately following the fall of the Berlin wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Written by Polish economist Jan Winiecki, between 1984 and 1996, this work explores the issue of the feasibility of reform and change during the period of decline and collapse of communist economic order and, later, the emergence of the capitalist economic order in the post-communist Eastern Europe. Split into three parts, the work considers firstly the failures of Gorbachev’s political economy of reform, secondly the determining factors in the collapse of the Soviet system, and finally the feasibility of the systematic change which began in the wake of its collapse.

part 1|83 pages

Political Economy of Reform

chapter 1|19 pages

Possible Scenarios for Eastern Europe *

chapter 2|11 pages

A Touch of Socialist Midas

Hungarian and Polish Reform Failures *

chapter 3|27 pages

Why Economic Reforms Fail in the Soviet System

A Property Rights-Based Approach *

chapter 4|9 pages

Managers and Reforms *

part 2|37 pages

Determinants of Collapse of the System

chapter 6|17 pages

How it all Began

Sources of the Recent Breakdown of the Soviet Economic System *

chapter 7|11 pages

How it all Began

The Impact of Gorbachev's Perestroika *

chapter 8|5 pages

How it all Began

Reagan and the Soviet Collapse *

part 3|103 pages

Political Economy of Systemic Change

chapter 9|18 pages

Shaping the Institutional Infrastructure *

chapter 10|20 pages

Political Economy of ‘Big Bang'

chapter 11|10 pages


Avoiding Major Mistakes *

chapter 13|6 pages

Lessons from Privatization *

chapter 14|18 pages

Hayekian Lesson of Polish Transition *