Redefining the State: Privatization and Welfare Reform in Industrial and Transitional Economies

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Professor Spulber traces the role of the state in the West and East for more than two centuries along parallel lines -- first from the creation of the Welfare State in the West, and the Party-State in the East, to reform of the Western Welfare State by means of privatization and entitlement changes, to transmutations in the East through large scale privatizations and the creation of the nomenklatura capitalism. He establishes an original connection between dismantling state enterprises and limitation of government functions at all levels in the West, and the collapse and then restructuring of the state on new foundations in the East.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"I know of no other work of scholarship that takes on this topic with such scope, magnitude, impartiality, and historical breadth. The author's approach is both theoretical and empirical, and the author presents a non-ideological and dispassionate analysis on a subject on which most people disagree. What is remarkable is Spulber's ability to carry major trends through the late 1990s - a feat that requires careful evaluation of current non-scholarly writings. Spulber's is one of the best explanations of events in transition Russia. I think this book will find its audience among economic historians, students of comparative economics, and general economists, historians, and political scientists." Paul Gregory, University of Houston

"This excellent book establishes an original and unusual connection between welfare reform and the dismantling of state enterprise, as well as the limitation of government function at all levels, as forms of the general phenomenon of downsizing of the state. It is impressively thorough and rich with evidence and general information; it has great topicality and immediate policy relevance." D. Mario Nuti, University of Rome, 'La Sapienza' and the London Business School

"The importance of the two issues - transition in the East, the downsizing of the state in the West - this work addresses need not be stressed. A large literature is dedicated to each of them. Nicolas Spulber's book is special, however, inasmuch as it considers the two sets of issues in parallel and under a perspective which is mainly historical. I think this is a most welcome addition to the available literature." Pierre Salmon, University of Bourgogne

"If you're looking for a crisp overview of the role of the state in the West and the East over two centuries, this book is a great place to begin. And if you want to dig deeper in any area, just follow the author's up-to-date and comprehensive citations." Ravi Ramamurti, Business History Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521594257
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 10/13/1997
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables
Pt. I Rationale for the State's Expansion 1
1 Public Ownership and Welfare 5
1.1 Mercantilism and State Ownership 5
1.2 Mercantilist-Liberal Mixtures and Industrialism 9
1.3 Framing the Command Economy 16
1.4 Nationalization and Welfare 23
2 An All-Encompassing Party-State 41
2.1 Marxism and State Ownership 41
2.2 The Party-State and Its Economy 47
2.3 Centralism and Reforms 53
2.4 Income Transfers 61
Pt. II Methods of Remodeling the State 69
3 Limiting the State's Size and Scope 73
3.1 A Critical Upheaval 73
3.2 Frameworks of Public Corporations 76
3.3 Privatization's Objectives 85
3.4 Reshuffling Welfare 93
4 Restructuring the State's Foundations 105
4.1 The Breakdown of the Soviet System 105
4.2 Characteristics of the Transformation Process 111
4.3 Nomenklatura Capitalism 120
4.4 Poverty and the Safety Net 124
Pt. III Comparisons Within Broader Frameworks 133
5 Options and Outcomes in the Industrial Economies 135
5.1 Privatization, Welfare, and the State's Agenda 135
5.2 Comparative Government Size in the G7 140
5.3 Variations in the Disposal of Public Property 148
5.4 Aftermath of Privatization 155
6 Options and Outcomes in the Transitional Economies 162
6.1 An Evolving Legal Framework 162
6.2 Patterns of Privatization 166
6.3 Comparative Paths of Economic Change 173
6.4 Readjusting Social Protection 181
Pt. IV Outlook for the Twenty-first Century 189
7 Contraction versus Expansion of the Scope of the State 193
7.1 The Underlying Issues 193
7.2 Sources of Insecurity in the G7 195
7.3 Sources of Uncertainty in Russia and Eastern Europe 206
7.4 Comparative Perspectives on the Role of the State 211
Notes 221
Index 246
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