Research Paper

Central and Eastern Europe in transition: an unfinished process? (European View FREE ARTICLE)

Since 1989 the former socialist countries of Central and Eastern Europe have been undergoing a transition from a more or less totalitarian political regime, planned economy and socialism towards a democratic regime, market economy and capitalism. This article examines the indicators that are used to measure the success or failure of a transition and compares them to the outcomes of democratic processes and economic performance. Five Central and Eastern European countries are studied: Slovenia, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Poland. The article concludes that the countries that opted for a ‘big-bang’ approach to transition are either completing this process (the Czech Republic and Poland) or are well on track to concluding it (Slovakia), while the countries that missed the moment and opted for a gradualist approach (Hungary and Slovenia) lag behind and may even find stability in a form of deficient democracy.

Published on 

January 2015

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