The 1989-91 upheavals in Eastern Europe sparked a turbulent process of social and ecomic transition. Two decades on, with the global ecomic crisis of 2008-10, a new phase has begun. This book explores the scale and trajectory of the crisis through case studies of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Russia, Ukraine and the former Yugoslavia. The contributors focus upon the relationships between geopolitics, the world ecomy and class restructuring. The book covers the changing relationship between business and states; foreign capital flows; financialisation and asset price bubbles; austerity and privatisation; and societal responses, in the form of reactionary populism and progressive social movements. Challenging neoliberal interpretations that envisage the transition as a process of unfolding liberty, the dialectic charted in these pages reveals uneven development, attenuated freedoms and social polarisation.
Gareth Dale is Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations at Brunel University, England. His previous books include First the Transition, then the Crash (Pluto, 2011) and Karl Polanyi: The Limits of the Market (Polity, 2010).