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Destined to diverge: The influence of path dependency on post-communist political and economic trajectories

Destined to diverge: The influence of path dependency on post-communist political and economic trajectories

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Published by cadyglaser
This thesis examines the variation of political and economic outcomes in the postcommunist
countries of Eastern Europe. In my evaluation of these outcomes, I find that
path dependency is a major determinant of post-communist divergence. This divergence
can be traced back as early as the communist era itself, in which differences among
regimes including leadership style and strength of civil society later impacted the quality
of collapse and transition. I compare the democratic and developmental trajectories of
Poland, Slovakia, and Romania in order to trace the influence of path dependency and
demonstrate how varying starting conditions led to different outcomes. A comparative
study of these cases suggests that more successful outcomes resulted from countries with
relatively more liberal communist regimes with rational approaches to rule and greater
opportunities for civic engagement. On the other hand, countries with repressive
communist regimes led to poorer outcomes. Put simply, post-communist countries as they
are today reflect a progression of events that originated within the communist period
itself.
This thesis examines the variation of political and economic outcomes in the postcommunist
countries of Eastern Europe. In my evaluation of these outcomes, I find that
path dependency is a major determinant of post-communist divergence. This divergence
can be traced back as early as the communist era itself, in which differences among
regimes including leadership style and strength of civil society later impacted the quality
of collapse and transition. I compare the democratic and developmental trajectories of
Poland, Slovakia, and Romania in order to trace the influence of path dependency and
demonstrate how varying starting conditions led to different outcomes. A comparative
study of these cases suggests that more successful outcomes resulted from countries with
relatively more liberal communist regimes with rational approaches to rule and greater
opportunities for civic engagement. On the other hand, countries with repressive
communist regimes led to poorer outcomes. Put simply, post-communist countries as they
are today reflect a progression of events that originated within the communist period
itself.

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Published by: cadyglaser on Jul 29, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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04/12/2013

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 Destined to diverge:
The influence of path dependency onpost-communist political and economictrajectories
Cady Glaser
Honors Thesis in International RelationsCenter on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of LawStanford UniversityAdvisor Kathryn Stoner-WeissMay 2010
 
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Abstract
This thesis examines the variation of political and economic outcomes in the post-communist countries of Eastern Europe. In my evaluation of these outcomes, I find that path dependency is a major determinant of post-communist divergence. This divergencecan be traced back as early as the communist era itself, in which differences amongregimes including leadership style and strength of civil society later impacted the qualityof collapse and transition. I compare the democratic and developmental trajectories of Poland, Slovakia, and Romania in order to trace the influence of path dependency anddemonstrate how varying starting conditions led to different outcomes. A comparativestudy of these cases suggests that more successful outcomes resulted from countries withrelatively more liberal communist regimes with rational approaches to rule and greater opportunities for civic engagement. On the other hand, countries with repressivecommunist regimes led to poorer outcomes. Put simply, post-communist countries as theyare today reflect a progression of events that originated within the communist perioditself.
!!!

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