From the Soviet Bloc to the European Union: The Economic and Social Transformation of Central and Eastern Europe since 1973

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-02-23
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press

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The Soviet Union's dramatic collapse in 1989 was a pivotal moment in the complex history of Central and Eastern Europe, and Ivan Berend here offers a magisterial new account of the dramatic transformation that culminated in ten former Soviet Bloc countries joining the European Union. Taking the OPEC oil crisis of 1973 as his starting point, he charts the gradual unravelling of state socialism in Central and Eastern Europe, its ultimate collapse in the revolutions of 1989, and the economic restructuring and lasting changes in income, employment, welfare, education and social structure which followed. He pays particular attention to the crucial role of the European Union as well as the social and economic hurdles that continue to face former Eastern-bloc nations as they try to catch up with their Western neighbours. This will be essential reading for scholars and students of European and economic history, European politics and economics.

Author Biography

Ivan T. Berend not only studied the collapse and transformation of Central and Eastern Europe, but also participated in it. He chaired the committee that prepared the first marketization and privatization plan for Hungary, and has been a member of governmental advisory bodies since the early 1990s. He is currently Distinguished Professor of History at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Table of Contents

List of figuresp. vii
List of tablesp. ix
List of boxesp. xi
Prefacep. xiii
Introductionp. 1
The economic factors in the collapse of state socialism and the new international environment, 1973-1989p. 6
Economic crisis, slowdown, and technological transformation in the West and lack of adjustment and decline in the East after 1973p. 7
The absence of opportunities for technology transferp. 27
The new international environment: end of the Cold War and the "new world order"p. 38
The "Washington consensus"p. 42
Radical transformation and policy mistakes: dramatic economic decline in the early 1990sp. 50
Deregulation and macroeconomic stabilizationp. 50
Marketizationp. 53
Privatizationp. 57
Policy mistakes and declinep. 65
Toward better times: the European Union and its policy of eastward enlargementp. 79
The European Union's interest in enlargement and integrationp. 81
The acquis communautaire and membership in the Unionp. 88
The European Union's impact on the transformation of future candidate countriesp. 102
The European Union of twenty-seven countriesp. 105
Recuperation and growth: the role of foreign direct investmentp. 107
Capital inflow and foreign direct investmentp. 108
Complementary specialization within the international production networkp. 124
Economic restructuring: transforming main sectors, economic recovery, growth, and weaknessesp. 134
Restructuring the economy: infrastructure and services, the most dynamic sectorsp. 134
Agriculturep. 144
Industrial restructuringp. 153
Restructured foreign tradep. 164
Economic recovery and growthp. 168
Economic weaknessesp. 173
Transformation and social shockp. 177
Longing for Western life and starting to adopt itp. 177
The social pain of transformationp. 182
Societies in shockp. 195
Lasting changes in the structure of income, employment, welfare institutions, education, and settlementp. 205
Living standards, unemployment, and povertyp. 205
A withering welfare statep. 213
Changing demographic trendsp. 221
Educational changesp. 226
Structural changes in societyp. 231
Settlement structure: unchanged urbanization level, but changing citiesp. 246
Epilogue: the future of catching up in the European "melting pot"p. 255
Bibliographyp. 267
Indexp. 288
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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