Economic transformation: from command economy to a new system

Lecture, Seminar
  • Course description

    The purpose of the course is to provide students with an in-depth knowledge of the transformation from centralized planned economic system to a market economy, provide analytical skills required for the further analysis and evaluation of the transformation process and its effects in Eastern Europe and Russia. Analysis will focus on the creation of government capacity to develop a system of finance and institutions, improving governance and better resource allocation that would bring desired solutions achieving transition goals.
    The course aims to develop a set of generic competences such as the ability to apply theory in practice, solve unexpected complex problems, provide analytical insights and apply them for the whole region. The course also aims to develop a set of subject specific competences such as in-depth understanding of the Russian and Eastern European economic context, ability to analyze assumptions and origins of the implemented economic policies in the region, ability to analyze and evaluate economic integration processes and their effect on national and regional contexts.
    Individual and group work will be combined to achieve the most during the seminars. The goal of the course is to combine both individual and collective insights, to compare and contrast political and economic transformation trajectories of East Central and East European countries. Therefore, students would be combined into pairs to present each other readings on selected country or topic. Then a pair would be randomly selected to give a presentation to the whole class. One student would present the synopsis of the author, while the other would present a critique of the same reading. Class discussion and the main takeaways would conclude the session.
    The main attention during the evaluation will be given to the understanding of the required reading, its critical evaluation, participation in discussion and attendance. Another 50% of evaluation comprises a written essay. The subject of essay could be chosen freely, but associated clearly with the overall subject of economic transformation in East Central Europe. The structure of the essay should correspond to the regular analytical text: the subject of the analysis is presented at the beginning clearly posing questions which would be attempted to answer, short description of the literature on the given subject, the theoretical model and the line of argumentation. Evidence presented should be assessed using the proposed theoretical scheme and conclusions offered at the end. References and the list of literature is a must. The essay should not be longer than 14 pages (one and a half lines spacing, the font - 12 Times New Roman).
  • Main themes

    1. Introduction. The concept of traditional and modern society. Institutional Economics: Time and Institutions. Development theory: The modernization and dependency theory. The engine of development: Cooperation or Competition?
    2. Episodes in Comparative History of East Central Europe.
    3. External aid and development. Marshall Plan –EU precursor?
    4. Introduction. Collapse of the soviet system. 1989-1990 chronology and key aspects.
    5. Soviet economic system: key aspects and collapse. Why CHINA did not collapse?
    6. Economic transformation - liberalisation and stabilisation of the economy. Shock therapy. POLAND
    7. Privatising as the main process of economic transformation. CZECHOSLOVAKIA
    8. Two decades in the post-communist state economic evolution. Russian economic development.
    9. Interactions and relationship between democracy and market. Hungary and Slovakia
    10. Restoration of the independence of the Baltic states and their economic transformation. BALTIC States
    11. EU and Russian economic relations: reforms and evolution. Georgia
    12. Ukraine between the Eurasian Union and EU.
    13. Characteristics of Belarusian economic development.
    14. CONCLUSION - historical legacies in shaping the outcomes of economic, social and political reforms
    15. Presentation
    16. Written assignment
  • Learning outcomes

    • Will be able to analyse processes of the fall of central planning systems and its transformation to market economy.
    • Will be able to independently examine and critically evaluate transformation of economic systems in the context of specific states and regionally.
    • Will be able to apply historical and theoretical knowledge on transformation of the economic systems in post-communist states for the further examination and research.
    • Will be able to evaluate course of the economic transformation in specific post-communist states, forecast possible further course of the economic development.
  • Assessment criteria and methods

    • Performance during seminars (50%): Quality of comments, insights and relevant remarks (15%); quality of the presentation (25%)
    • Essay (50%) : Uniqueness of the research (10%); Knowledge  of  academic  literature  of  the  chosen  topic (10%); Depth of analysis of the topic (10%); Ability to present results in an appropriate coherent form (10%).
  • Required reading

    Compulsory reading
    Anders Åslund 2007 How Capitalism Was   Built. The Transformation of Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, and Central Asia.   Cambridge University Press
    Anders Åslund 2014 The Great Rebirth: Lessons from the Victory of Capitalism over Communism   Peterson Institute for International Economics
    R.Brenner   Economic Backwardness in Eastern Europe in Light of Developments in the West", The Origins of Backwardness in Eastern Europe, 15-52  
      2010 European   Economy. Occasional Papers  No.58., February economy_finance/ publications/occa- sional_paper/2010/ op58_en.htm
    Rokas Grajauskas, Lau-
    rynas Kasčiūnas
    2009 L it hu ania n   F o reign Policy Review 22
    2009-22/Gra - jauskas_Kasciu - nas.pdf
    Stephan Haggard and Steven B. Webb 1993 What Do We Know about the Political Economy of Economic Policy Reform?
    The World Bank Research Observer
    Vol. 8, No. 2 (Jul., 1993), pp. 143-168
    D.North 1994 Economic Performance Through Time, American Economic Review 84-3; 359-367
    D.North   Understanding Economic Change 13-18  
    Anselm Skuhra (ed.) 2005 The Eastern En- largement of the European Union. Efforts and Obsta- cles on the Way to Membership   Studien Verlag

Last updated: 24 August 2017

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