From Socialism to Neoliberalism: the case of Central Eastern European countries

The transition from communism or socialism to capitalism has proved to be a rockier road than many in the West (think of Fukuyama as an example) anticipated. The degree and character of challenges that countries faced during the transition depended on the nature of the pathways taken and their local specific institutional context. An economic sociologist Ivan Szelenyi distinguishes three major trajectories countries followed: Central European neo-liberalism; post USSR neo-patrimonial regime and the East Asian (Chinese and Vietnamese) transformation from below.
In this short (open access) paperPathways from and Crises after Communism: the Case of Central Eastern Europe“, Szelenyi explores the various institutional trajectories through which neoliberalism took command in Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia, from 1989 till 2010. He also presents a comparative perspective, taking into account issues like privatization, deindustrialization, labour, public debt, poverty and more.


Join Economic Sociology and Political Economy community via
Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn / Google+ / Instagram / Tumblr



  1. An interesting economic analysis of three decades of neon-liberalism reforms in Central former members of the soviet style planing of the bloc-function to compite with the Western capitalism until the end of the Cold War. Observing this economic changes in the Central European countries
    describes by author Szelenyi, it is clear that the intromission of liberal ideas to command their
    economies, were if not resisted by their own social and political realities at least it has taken three
    decades to Central and European former communist nations to re-adjust themselves to an economic capitalist experiment, which at present is semi-part of the European Union, this fictitious
    ensemble, created by geo-political incentives rather than economic is my thesis to proof that the
    crisis in their economy is reflected in a unbalance in their own political adjustments to create a permanent stability with independence from the foreign intervention of the financial capitalism.
    Historically, I can say, that the experiment of the neoliberalism applied to the former communist countries, still is a phenomena under development to make European capitalism an independent entity apart of the tragedies of the past and the present geo-political menaces.

  2. An interesting contemporary subject for a economy sociological and historical analysis of the deformation or formation of the ex-socialist economies and the advances of take-over of the
    monetarist policies controlling the action and reactions of the former popular European democracies. More discussion will be of general and particular interest.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s