For Eastern European and other countries, market democracy offers an organizing principle for reform, a model on which to base movement toward a market ecomy. Macesich stresses the importance of such an organizing principle, asserting that without it the state will again assume dominance and the political and ecomic structure will be taken over by well-organized special interests to the detriment of the rest of society. In such a scenario, reform simply perpetuates the interests of the ever-active political elite and bureaucracy. Market democracy, the culmination of more than three hundred years of ecomic and political thought, is centered on a pluralistic democracy with a free-market-oriented society. Proponents of market democracy do t share the Marxist pretention that commandeering society is the one way to assure prosperity and freedom; they are equally skeptical of the nationalism which has replaced Marxism in many of these countries as the guiding spirit of government. This study draws on the experience of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, demonstrating the futility of promoting narrow nationalism in the ethnic hodgepodge that constitutes the population in this part of Europe. The volume's eight chapters look at the organization of a market democracy and the historical and theoretical principles involved. Then Macesich zeroes in on the key role of money, the constraints of nationalism; bureaucracy and market democracy; and property rights, privatization, and other issues. The volume closes with two chapters devoted to the politics of reform and a re-examination of Europe's past. This timely volume will be especially valuable to scholars in the areas of development ecomics, international finance and trade, political ecomy, political science, and socialism.
GEORGE MACESICH is Professor of Economics, and Founding Director of the Center for Yugoslav-American Studies, Research, and Exchanges at Florida State University, Tallahassee. He is the author of 12 books, including Money and Democracy, (Praeger, 1990) and World Debt and Stability (Praeger, 1991).