The Transition from Socialism and the Obstacles to Liberty


This conference investigated the many challenges faced by the countries of Eastern and Central Europe and the former Soviet Union during their transitions from the socialist system. The conference explored the differences in the transition processes in various countries and noted the strengths and weaknesses of the various approaches.


Conference Readings

Appel, Hilary. “The Ideological Determinants of Liberal Economic Reform: The Case of Privatization.” World Politics 52, no. 4 (July 2000): 520-549.

Blacksell, Mark and Karl Martin Born. “Private Property Restitution: The Geographical Consequences of Official Government Policies in Central and Eastern Europe.” The Geographical Journal 168, no. 2 (June 2002): 178-190.

Brada, Josef C. “Privatization is Transition-Or Is It?” The Journal of Economic Perspectives 10, no. 2 (Spring 1996): 67-86.

Calcagno, Peter T., Frank Hefner, and Marius Dan. “Restructuring Before Privatization-Putting the Cart Before the Horse: A Case Study of the Steel Industry in Romania.” The Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics 9, no. 1 (2006): 27-45.

Cook, Linda J. Postcommunist Welfare States: Reform Politics in Russia and Eastern Europe. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2007.

Frye, Timothy and Andrei Shleifer. “The Invisible Hand and the Grabbing Hand.” The American Economic Review 87, no. 2 (May 1997): 354-358.

Kornai, Janos. “What the Change of System From Socialism to Capitalism Does and Does Not Mean.” The Journal of Economic Perspectives 14, no. 1 (Winter 2000): 27-42.

Kornai, Janos. “Privatization: The Great Problem of Transition in Eastern Europe.” Bulletin of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences 44, no. 8 (May 1991): 32-40.

Letki, Natalia. “Lustration and Democratisation in East-Central Europe.” Europe-Asia Studies 54, no. 4 (June 2002): 529-552.

Murrell, Peter. “How Far Has the Transition Progressed?” The Journal of Economic Perspectives 10, no. 2 (Spring 1996): 25-44.

Rothbard, Murray. “How and How Not to Desocialize.” The Review of Austrian Economics 6, no. 1 (1992): 65-77.

Savchenko, Andrew. “Toward Capitalism or Away from Russia? Early Stage of Post-Soviet Economic Reforms in Belarus and the Baltics.” American Journal of Economics and Sociology 61, no. 1 (January 2002): 233-257.

Walder, Andrew G. “Elite Opportunity in Transitional Economics.” American Sociological Review 68, no. 6 (December 2003): 899-916.

Zweynert, Joachim and Nils Goldschmidt. “The Two Transitions in Central and Eastern Europe and the Relation between Path Dependent and Politically Implemented Institutional Change.” Hamburg Institute of International Economics (March 2005): 1-33.