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Review: What Do We Know Now? Postcommunist Economic Reform through a Russian Lens

Reviewed Works: Building Capitalism: The Transformation of the Former Soviet Bloc by Anders Aslund; Without a Map: Political Tactics and Economic Reform in Russia by Andrei Shleifer, Daniel Treisman; The Logic of Economic Reform in Russia by Jerry F. Hough; Money Unmade: Barter and the Fate of Russian Capitalism by David Woodruff
Review by: Andrew Barnes
Comparative Politics
Vol. 35, No. 4 (Jul., 2003), pp. 477-497
DOI: 10.2307/4150191
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4150191
Page Count: 21
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What Do We Know Now? Postcommunist Economic Reform through a Russian Lens
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Abstract

The four books reviewed in this article represent attempts to explain the process of postcommunist economic reform in ways that go beyond simple appeals to political will. Focusing their analyses on Russia, they exhibit a striking consensus on the broad outlines of transformation, but they differ starkly in how they identify and analyze the actors, interests, constraints, and opportunities at work. Comparison of the arguments' strengths and weaknesses shows how scholars can build on recent insights into the identity and resources of major players in postcommunist reforms, the nature of institutional change, and the role of the state in economic restructuring.

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