This is an examination of the economic achievements and failures in a number of former communist-bloc countries, focusing on the common issues and the available options. It covers developments in Russia, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Romania and Albania, as well as the economic transformations in China and Vietnam. The book also puts forward policy recommendations for the future. One of the author's conclusions is that, the slower a country's process of democratization, the costlier its economic transformation is likely to be.
Anders Åslund was a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute from 2006 to 2015. He is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University. His area of research is the economic policy of Russia, Ukraine, and Eastern Europe, as well as the broader implications of economic transition. He worked at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace from 1994 to 2005, first as a senior associate and then from 2003 as director of the Russian and Eurasian Program. He also worked at the Brookings Institution and the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies. He earned his doctorate from Oxford University.
Åslund served as an economic adviser to the governments of Russia in 1991–94 and Ukraine in 1994–97. He was a professor at the Stockholm School of Economics and the founding director of the Stockholm Institute of East European Economics. He has worked as a Swedish diplomat in Kuwait, Poland, Geneva, and Moscow. He is a member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences and an honorary professor of the Kyrgyz National University. He is chairman of the Advisory Council of the Center for Social and Economic Research (CASE), Warsaw, and of the Scientific Council of the Bank of Finland Institute for Economies in Transition (BOFIT).
He is author or coauthor of 14 books, including Ukraine: What Went Wrong and How to Fix It (2015), How Capitalism Was Built: The Transformation of Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, the Caucasus and Central Asia(Cambridge University Press, 2007 and 2013), The United States Should Establish Permanent Normal Trade Relations with Russia (2012), How Latvia Came through the Financial Crisis (2011), The Last Shall Be the First: The East European Financial Crisis (2010), The Russia Balance Sheet (2009),How Ukraine Became a Market Economy and Democracy (2009), Russia''s Capitalist Revolution: Why Market Reform Succeeded and Democracy Failed(2007), Building Capitalism: The Transformation of the Former Soviet Bloc(Cambridge University Press, 2002), How Russia Became a Market Economy(Brookings, 1995), Gorbachev''s Struggle for Economic Reform, 2d ed. (Cornell University Press, 1991), and Private Enterprise in Eastern Europe(Macmillan, 1985). He is also editor or coeditor of 16 books, including The Great Rebirth: Lessons from the Victory of Capitalism over Communism(2014), Russia after the Global Economic Crisis (2010), Challenges of Globalization: Macroeconomic Imbalances and Development Models (2008),Europe after Enlargement (Cambridge University Press, 2007), and Revolution in Orange (Carnegie Endowment, 2006).