Whether it be in industrialised, developing or Eastern European countries, policies for altering the balance between the public and private sectors involve redefining relations between the state and the development process. The respective importance of the public and private sectors is not itself a new issue, however. If we look at the economic history of the past 40 years, we can see that two major tendencies have deeply influenced attitudes towards the role of the state and the private sector in the growth and socioeconomic development processes:

on the one hand, the emergence of an interventionist state;

on the other, state disinvolvement in favour of a liberal market system.