This major book presents an objective and penetrating ecomic analysis of stabilization and reform in Eastern Europe, combined with a compassionate plea for individual rights and solidarity. Jas Kornai - one of the most famous Hungarian ecomists of his generation - focuses on two main issues: first, the problems of stabilization and adjustment, which are painful but necessary conditions of sustainable growth and second, the reform of the 'premature welfare state' of Eastern European countries, which is disproportionately large in relation to the resources available and which was hitherto managed in a highly centralized, bureaucratic and paternalistic way. Struggle and Hope goes beyond most other books on the transition process by placing considerable emphasis on the understanding of the ethical implications and the historical roots of each problem, and also the political conditions and consequences of change. Although ecomic efficiency is extremely important, it is t the exclusive criterion; ethical principles of individual sovereignty and solidarity must also receive particular attention. Professor Kornai's insightful analysis will become required reading for all those concerned with the process of post-socialist transition.
Janos Kornai, Allie S. Freed Professor of Economics, Harvard University, US and Permanent Fellow, Institute for Advanced Study, Collegium Budapest, Hungary