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

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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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Anyone interested in how and why former socialist economies in central and eastern Europe transformed in the 1990s to market-oriented economies will find this concise, well-written book informative and delightfully refreshing.... This book effectively substitutes for dozens of readings typically assigned in undergraduate and graduate courses on economic system transition... The quantity and quality of information and analysis makes this book essential reading.... Highly recommended." - Choice

"...much recommends this great book, especially in terms of the useful empirical data it provides on all manner of things, from comparative economic growth rates to demographic trends and statistics on homelessness." -H-German, Matthew Stibbe

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521729505
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 2/12/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 316
  • Product dimensions: 6.70 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Ivan 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 marketisation and privatisation 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.

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Table of Contents

Introduction; 1. The economic factors of the collapse of state socialism and the new international environment, 1973-1991; 2. Transformation and policy mistakes: dramatic economic decline; 3. Towards better times: the European Union and its policy of eastwards enlargement; 4. Recuperation and growth: the role of foreign direct investment; 5. Economic restructuring: transforming main sectors, economic recovery, weaknesses and growth; 6. Transformation and social shock; 7. Lasting social changes in income, employment, welfare institutions, educational and settlement structure; Epilogue: the future of catching-up in the European 'melting pot'.

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    Posted January 5, 2014

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