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Global Geographies of Post-Socialist Transition : Geographies, societies, policies - Tassilo Herrschel

Global Geographies of Post-Socialist Transition

Geographies, societies, policies

Hardcover Published: 1st October 2005
ISBN: 9780415321495
Number Of Pages: 288

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Since the formal raising of the Iron Curtain, there has been much interest in post-socialism and the process of post-socialist transition. This timely book provides a systematic review and analysis of the process of 'transition'. Herrschel:


  • explores recent theories, concepts and debates on post-socialism and the notion of transition

  • provides a systematic, topical account of post-socialist transitions around the world, as evidence by social, economic, and political processes

  • examines case studies of post-socialist transition in east and Central Europe, the former Soviet Union, Asia and South-East Asia, and Africa and Latin America

  • brings together theoretical and practical aspects by examining what lessons can be learned from recent experiences.


Global Geographies of Post-Socialist Transition provides a truly global comparative account of the meaning and processes of post-socialist transition and will be an invaluable resource for all those interested in this area.

List of figures and tablesp. xi
Prefacep. xiii
Introduction: variability, legacies, outcomes of post-communist transitionsp. 1
Socialism, communism and afterp. 17
Types of communism/socialismp. 27
The nature of 'post-communism' and 'post-socialism'p. 30
Geography of post-socialist transition: where is it happening?p. 33
Global regions of post-communism: beyond Soviet-centric and China-centric regions of post-communist transitionp. 36
The paradoxes of Central and Eastern Europe: post-communism or post-socialism? Post-colonialism or post-imperialism?p. 38
The meaning of post-communist 'transition': post-authoritarianism, democratisation and liberalisationp. 45
Introduction: the meaning of transition and 'transitology', and the relationship between state, society and economyp. 45
The economy-centred perspective of 'transition': 'shock therapy' or 'gradualism'?p. 47
Society-focused argumentsp. 50
Post-communist transition and post-authoritarianismp. 52
Democratisation as automatic outcome?p. 53
State, society and post-socialismp. 54
Not one, but many post-communist transitions, and more ...p. 57
Transformation as a dynamic processp. 58
Process of change and outcome: transition as a disruptive, destructive or constructive process - transformational recession or transformational growthp. 62
The Washington Consensus paradigm and the complexities of post-communist developmentsp. 63
Alternative models to the Washington Consensus: growth-led versus recession-led marketisationp. 71
Conclusionp. 73
Marketisation, democratisation and inequality in Central and Eastern Europep. 75
Introductionp. 75
The fall of communism in Central and Eastern Europep. 77
The 'Washington Consensus' and discourses of post-communist change in Central and Eastern Europep. 80
The 'Europeanisation' of Central and Eastern Europep. 81
The fragmentation of economic space in post-communist Central and Eastern Europep. 85
Post-communist democratisation in Central and Eastern Europep. 92
Conclusionp. 95
The Soviet Union and after: 'incidental transition towards a formal democracy'p. 98
Introduction: why distinguish between post-communist transition in Central and Eastern Europe and in the former Soviet Union?p. 98
Difference and similarity between Eastern European and post-Soviet transitionp. 99
Economic transformation and inequalityp. 102
Transition in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Unionp. 105
The legacy of Soviet Communismp. 106
Inequality and divisions of Marxist-Leninist modernisationp. 111
Protracted transformation in post-communist Russiap. 112
Russia's own transition as half-finished democratisation and continued elitist rule in a 'formal democracy'p. 115
Competing post-Soviet identities of Russiap. 121
New administrative-political divisionsp. 123
Economic divisions as legacies of a colonial-style space economyp. 125
New divisions and diversities at the local (urban) scalep. 133
Post-communist transition under post-Soviet conditions: some concluding commentsp. 135
'Dual track' transformation in China: gradual marketisation and political status quop. 139
Introduction: Maoism and marketp. 139
China's 'post-communist' economy: combining 'conventional' development policy and Mao Zedong Thoughtp. 140
The particular communist legacy of Maoism: a rurally based communist development modelp. 143
Transition Chinese-style: marketisation without democratisation - the strategy of 'market authoritarianism'p. 144
Special feature of China's transitionp. 146
The outcomes of reforms: curse and blessings of a two-speed economic miraclep. 148
Social change: social stratification - the emergence of a new entrepreneurial middle classp. 150
China's post-communist reform: for the cities only?p. 152
The coastal city regions as designated 'capitalist playgrounds' and test beds for reformp. 154
The Pearl River Delta as 'virtual region' of urban-centred economic transformationp. 155
China as a two-track developmental state between market realities and authoritarianism in socialist guise: some concluding remarksp. 158
Africanism, Marxism, post-colonialism: pragmatic use of communism and post-communism as a labelp. 162
The ideological dimension of Marxism-Leninism as a post-colonial development strategy of conveniencep. 163
External influences in the shaping of African communismp. 164
Pragmatism and the socialist/communist label for national politicsp. 165
African socialism or Africanised Marxism-Leninism?p. 166
African socialism as programmatic 'Africanist' development strategyp. 168
The effects of external pressuresp. 170
The legacy of African socialism and Afro-communism for 'African post-communist development'p. 172
The end of African communism - and choices in development?p. 174
Examples of post-socialist development: authoritarianism, socialism and communismp. 178
Communism, urban development and after ...p. 182
Summary and conclusions: African communism, pragmatism and afterp. 185
Latin tradition, European Marxist doctrine and market forces: communism and after in Cubap. 187
Introduction: towards a 'revolutionary socialism'p. 187
Dual legacy: Latin post-colonialism and European Sovietismp. 189
Making 'Castroism'p. 190
Responses to the changing geopolitical environment: inequality, selective marketisation and 'dollar apartheid'p. 193
Post-Soviet socialism and the imagineering of a 'neo-revolutionist' Cubap. 201
Conclusions: Cuba, the Third World and 'socialism'p. 205
Identity under communism and post-communismp. 209
Introductionp. 209
The reconfiguration of national identitiesp. 210
Religionp. 215
Ethnic exclusionp. 217
The transformation of work and of micro-social relationsp. 220
Changing practices of consumption and identityp. 222
Conclusion: post-communist identities - hybrid of 'old' and 'new'p. 224
Summary and conclusions. From communisms to post-communisms: global patterns of transformationp. 226
Bibliographyp. 239
Indexp. 263
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780415321495
ISBN-10: 0415321492
Series: Routledge Studies in Human Geography
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 288
Published: 1st October 2005
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.37 x 15.49  x 2.29
Weight (kg): 0.54
Edition Number: 1