Taking Stock of Shock

Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2021-06-25
Genre: Political Science
Pages: 280 pages
ISBN 13: 0197549268
ISBN 10: 9780197549261
Format: PDF, ePUB, MOBI, Audiobooks, Kindle
Kristen Ghodsee and Mitchell A. Orenstein blend empirical data with lived experiences to produce a robust picture of who won and who lost in post-communist transition, contextualizing the rise of populism in Eastern Europe. After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, more than 400 million people suddenly found themselves in a new reality, a dramatic transition from state socialist and centrally planned workers' states to liberal democracy (in most cases) and free markets. Thirty years later, postsocialist citizens remain sharply divided on the legacies of transition. Was it a success that produced great progress after a short recession, or a socio-economic catastrophe foisted on the East by Western capitalists? Taking Stock of Shock aims to uncover the truth using a unique, interdisciplinary investigation into the social consequences of transitionincluding the rise of authoritarian populism and xenophobia. Showing that economic, demographic, sociological, political scientific, and ethnographic research produce contradictory results based on different disciplinary methods and data, Kristen Ghodsee and Mitchell Orenstein triangulate the results. They find that both the J-curve model, which anticipates sustained growth after a sharp downturn, and the "disaster capitalism" perspective, which posits that neoliberalism led to devastating outcomes, have significant basis in fact. While substantial percentages of the populations across a variety of postsocialist countries enjoyed remarkable success, prosperity, and progress, many others suffered an unprecedented socio-economic catastrophe. Ghodsee and Orenstein conclude that the promise of transition still remains elusive for many and offer policy ideas for overcoming negative social and political consequences.
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Taking Stock of Shock
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Pages: 280
Authors: Kristen Ghodsee, Mitchell Orenstein
Categories: Political Science
Type: BOOK - Published: 2021-06-25 - Publisher: Oxford University Press

Kristen Ghodsee and Mitchell A. Orenstein blend empirical data with lived experiences to produce a robust picture of who won and who lost in post-communist transition, contextualizing the rise of populism in Eastern Europe. After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, more than 400 million people suddenly found themselves in a new reality, a dramatic transition from state socialist and centrally planned workers' states to liberal democracy (in most cases) and free markets. Thirty years later, postsocialist citizens remain sharply divided on the legacies of transition. Was it a success that produced great progress after a short recession, or a socio-economic catastrophe foisted on the East by Western capitalists? Taking Stock of Shock aims to uncover the truth using a unique, interdisciplinary investigation into the social consequences of transitionincluding the rise of authoritarian populism and xenophobia. Showing that economic, demographic, sociological, political scientific, and ethnographic research produce contradictory results based on different disciplinary methods and data, Kristen Ghodsee and Mitchell Orenstein triangulate the results. They find that both the J-curve model, which anticipates sustained growth after a sharp downturn, and the "disaster capitalism" perspective, which posits that neoliberalism led to devastating outcomes, have significant basis in fact. While substantial percentages of the populations across a variety of postsocialist countries enjoyed remarkable success, prosperity, and progress, many others suffered an unprecedented socio-economic catastrophe. Ghodsee and Orenstein conclude that the promise of transition still remains elusive for many and offer policy ideas for overcoming negative social and political consequences.
Taking Stock of Shock
Language: en
Pages: 304
Authors: Kristen Ghodsee, Mitchell Orenstein
Categories: Political Science
Type: BOOK - Published: 2021 - Publisher: Oxford University Press

Introduction: Transition from communism - qualified success or utter catastrophe? -- The plan for a J-curve transition -- Plan meets reality -- Modifying the framework -- Counter-narratives of catastrophe -- Where have all the people gone? -- The mortality crisis -- Collapse in fertility -- Outmigration crisis -- Disappointment with transition -- Public opinion of winners and losers -- Evaluations shift over time -- Towards a new social contract? -- Portraits of desperation -- Resistance is futile -- Return to the past -- The patriotism of despair -- Conclusion: Towards an inclusive prosperity.
Taking Stock of Shock
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Pages:
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"Using an interdisciplinary approach, this book evaluates the social consequences of the post-1989 transition from state socialism to free market capitalism across Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Blending ethnographic accounts with economic, demographic, and public opinion data, Ghodsee and Orenstein provide insight into the development of new, unequal, social orders. It explores the contradictory narratives on transition promoted by Western international institutions and their opponents, one of qualified success and another of epic catastrophe, and surprisingly shows that data support both narratives, for different countries, regions, and people. While many citizens of the postsocialist countries experienced significant progress in living standards and life satisfaction, enabling them to catch up with the West after a relatively brief recession, others suffered demographic and social collapses resulting from rising economic precarity; large scale degradation of social welfare that came with privatization; and growing gender, class, and regional disparities that have accompanied neoliberal reforms. Transition recessions lasted for decades in many countries, exceeding the US Great Depression in severity. Some countries still have not returned to pre-1989 levels of economic production or mortality; some have lost more than one-fifth of their population and are projected to lose more. Thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, this book deploys a sweeping array of data from different social science fields to provide a more holistic perspective on the successes and failures of transition, while unpacking the failed assumptions and narratives of Western institutions, Eastern policymakers, and citizens of former socialist states"--
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