The Political Economy of Dual Transformations

Market Reform and Democratization in Hungary
David L. Bartlett
Shows how market reform and democratization are compatible in former Communist countries


In the early 1990s, scholars voiced skepticism about the capacity of Eastern Europe's new democracies to manage simultaneous political and economic reform. They argued that the surge of popular participation following democratization would thwart efforts by successor governments to enact market reforms that imposed high costs on major elements of post-Communist society. David Bartlett challenges the conventional wisdom regarding the hazards of "dual transformations": far from hindering marketization, democratization facilitated it. Bartlett argues that the transition to democracy in East Central Europe lowered the political barriers to market reforms by weakening the ability of actors most vulnerable to marketization to manipulate the existing institutional structure to stop or slow down the process.

Although the analysis focuses on Hungary, whose long history of market reforms makes it an ideal vehicle for assessing the impact of institutional change on reform policy, the author shows how his findings call into question the use of "shock therapy" and arguments, based on the experience in East Asia, that economic development and democratization are incompatible.

This book will appeal to economists, political scientists, and others interested in transition problems in formerly communist countries, democratic transitions, and the politics of stabilization and adjustment.

David L. Bartlett is Assistant Professor of Political Science, Vanderbilt University.

Praise / Awards

  • "Bartlett's account of Hungarian economic reforms in the 1980s is clear, concise, and right on target. . . . This book stands out in the copious literature on the political economy of the postcommunist transition because of its clear argument and nuanced understanding of Hungarian economic and political history. . . . [It] deserves a readership beyond aficionados of Central Europe."
    —Akos Rona-Tas, University of California, San Diego, American Political Science Review, December 1999
  • "This institutionalist analysis, rich in factual detail, of Hungary's economic and political reforms in the 1980s and 1990s, is a valuable addition to an already extensive literature about postcommunist transformation. . . . "
  • "This book is more than an informative and perceptive case study. It has long been recognized that simple arguments about the effects of political regime types on economic reform are far too crude to be useful. Bartlett shows how probing analysis of specific institutions, as they operate within a larger political context, illuminates the political economy of reforms in any system."
    Slavic Review
  • Winner: American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies (AAASS)1998 Edward A. Hewett Prize

Look Inside



Part 1: An Institutional Approach to Easter Europe's Transition
Chapter 1: Party and State Institutions in Dual Transformations-11

Part 2: Economic Reform in Communist Hungary. 1979-89
Chapter 2: Macroeconomic Stabilization under Reform Communism-55
Chapter 3: Structural Adjustment and Market Socialism-99

Part 3: Economic Reform in Democratic Hungary. 1990-94
Chapter 4: Political Institutions and Hungary's Negotiated Transition-141
Chapter 5: Stabilization Policy in the Postcommunist Period-165
Chapter 6: Structural Adjustment in Hungary's New Democracy-205

Part 4: Conclusions
Chapter 7: Implications and Comparative Perspectives -253


Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 320pp.
  • 18 tables.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Hardcover
  • 1997
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-10794-0

Add to Cart
  • $94.95 U.S.

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