University of Hertfordshire

The transformation of post-communist economies in a globalised economy: the case of Poland

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

  • Jane Hardy
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Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTransitions in Latin America and in Poland and Syria
EditorsPaul Zarembka
PublisherEmerald
Pages131-162
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-84950-469-0
ISBN (Print)978-0-7623-1383-9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Publication series

NameResearch in Political Economy
Volume24

Abstract

This article argues that the transformation of the economies of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) has to be understood in the context of the dynamics and development of the global economy. The analysis draws on the notion of combined and uneven development in which there has recently been renewed interest. Too often this notion has been a slogan that lacks substance, but the article elaborates how change is a dynamic process of interaction between economic change and political and social forces. The neoliberal analysis, as well as some Marxist accounts, are criticised for being deterministic, linear and prescriptive. This account emphasises the institutional dimension and role of the state as being critical to understanding the varied outcomes between and within economies in CEE in terms of the way that it has mediated the reinsertion of these countries into the global economy. The story focuses on agency, a neglected aspect of analysis, in emphasising the ideological and discursive aspects of transformation, which attempt to justify and reinforce economic and material changes and to close down debate about alternatives. Crucially, the form and content of development, in its widest sense, cannot be known or predicted because the process of transformation has been contested by different factions of the ruling class and by workers. Despite the marginalisation of organised labour in mainstream and many radical accounts, it is argued that trade unions and workers have been central to the process and outcomes of transformation

ID: 2762023