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Politics and Policies in Post-Communist Transition
Primary and Secondary Privatisation in Central Europe and the Former Soviet Union

Károly Attila Soós, Hungarian Academy of Sciences

Discusses the policies, practices and outcomes of privatization in six transition economies: the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Russia, Slovenia and Ukraine, paying particular attention to cross-country differences and to interrelations between the processes of privatisation and the political transition from communism to a new system.

The analysis is restricted to the privatisation in those fields where its methods have been strongly different from privatisations in advanced market economies and where differences of privatisation principles and techniques among our six countries were also rather various. This is basically the privatisation of middle-sized and large enterprises, not including banks, non-bank financial companies, natural monopolies and agricultural entities.


Introduction 1.1 The background 1.2 (Another) delimitation of the subject 1.3 Managerial power and the bogey of spontaneous privatisation 2 Privatisation: why and how? 2.1 The need for privatisation and the irrelevance of long-term considerations 2.2The limited applicability of the classical solution 2.3 Selling at equitable prices 2.4 Search for other equitable – preferential – solutions on the basis of political and ideological considerations 3 An overview of the processes of primary privatisation in the six countries 3.1 Primary privatisation leaving limited space for secondary privatisation – Hungary 3.2 Primary privatisation – the Czech Republic 3.3 Primary privatisation – Russia 3.4 Primary privatisation – Ukraine 3.5 Primary privatisation – Poland 3.6 Primary privatisation – Slovenia 4 Secondary privatisation in (essentially only) five countries 4.1 Secondary privatisation – the Czech Republic 4.2 Secondary privatisation – Poland 4.3 Secondary privatisation – Slovenia 4.4 Secondary privatisation – Russia 4.5 Secondary privatisation – Ukraine 5 Primary and secondary privatisation – countries of slow and rapid concentration of the ownership structure 5.1 Differences in corporate governance systems 5.2 Once again on the differences of patterns of primary privatisation (and on why is insider ownership problematic) 5.3 Something that still remains unexplained 6 The speed of secondary privatisation and the characteristics of political transition 6.1 Transition indicators and the quality of governance 6.2 Interpenetration between public administration and company management in the countries of slow secondary privatization 6.3 Political transition without a break and interpenetration between public administration and company management 7 Conclusions 7.1 Privatisation and the character of political transition 7.2 Notes on the economic and social consequences of different political and economic reforms List of Tables Index

"Provides valuable insights into and understanding of the complexities of privatization. By focusing on the early phase of the process, Soos examines neither the privatization of banks, insurance companies, motorways, agricultural enterprises, small shops, restaurants, and pubs, nor such issues as poverty, health care, social welfare, and overarching social policy. Typically, during the early period of transition to a market economy, poverty is on the rise and income inequality widens, partly because of the elimination of previous enterprise and product subsidies during communism.
Clearly, Soos’s approach is more descriptive than prescriptive. He describes carefully, in detail and in depth, the actual results of the survey in the context of the major literature, but he is less concerned with suggesting where we go from here, prescribing implications and policies for the next phases of the transition to market economies or formulating approaches
based on the critical issues and challenges involved in the transition". - Slavic Review

"Soos’s book is a valuable addition to the literature on the post-Communist transitions and contributes greatly to our understanding of the importance of these transitions. The book is useful to researchers who want a very detailed account of the processes of privatisation as well as to those who are looking for a more general explanation of the interaction between the political and economic transitions of post-Communist countries." - Central European Journal of International and Security Studies (CEJISS)

204 pages
ISBN 978-963-9776-85-2 cloth $40.00 / €35.00 / £30.00