Economic Policy Review ISSN 1313 - 0544

New Book: "How To Do It: Lessons from Successful Liberal Reforms in CEE"

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Two decades ago, the people in the CE/CA region lived under communist regimes. Their countries were bankrupt and famished. Their citizens had to deal with empty store shelves, they were denied the right to a passport, and a formidable communist secret service spied on their private lives (Mungiu-Pippidi 2007). Twenty years later, a short time by a historical perspective, the people in many of these countries had succeeded in establishing democracies and free-market economies. A complete ideological, political, economic, and social system had just dissolved and a large part of the world, with some 400 million inhabitants, was to choose a new form in every regard, even including what shapes their countries should divide up into. This was one of the greatest revolutions the world has ever seen, and it was a liberal revolution in the classic, European sense. The initiative was seized by liberal revolutionaries, who hoped for a "normal society" and a "return to Europe". These radical reformers demanded the opposite of the petrified, state-dominated system. Communist dictatorships had to give way to democracy, pluralism, and individual freedom, replacing vertical state commands with horizontal market signals, and public ownership with private property (Aslund 2003).

The book is available here! (pdf)