A COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVE
One of the first books about economic restructuring in the Soviet Union.
The countries of Central and Eastern Europe have begun an unprecedented process of rapid change in their political, economic, and social characters. Using a unique comparative perspective, this volume brings together leading scholars from the United States and Eastern Europe to describe and analyze the political democratization and economic decentralization in Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Germany, and the fragmenting Soviet Union. The contributors explore the pace of democratic transformation in each country and find that political democracy has outpaced the development of a market economy, and that these transformations have considerable social costs. They also reveal the different levels of risk for Western investors that each country holds. They conclude that each of these countries will eventually develop a market economy consistent with its needs and desires, much different from the U.S. model. Shama's analysis includes observations on the abortive coup attempt in Moscow in August 1991, making this an up-to-date and relevant study of the present highly volatile situation in the region.