Many of the countries that have recently converted to a market-based economic system have also experienced an alarming increase in income inequality — a widening gap between the haves and have nots. But to what extent is the increase in inequality also increasing the opportunities for economic advancement — particularly for those at the bottom of the economic ladder?
A great transformation of the former Soviet bloc has occurred in the last decade. All countries that opted for radical reform have accomplished something, while those that did not have largely failed. The initial reform strategy has been of fundamental and lasting importance. Countries have ended up either in a virtuous circle or in a vicious circle.
This book examines democracy aid programs relating to elections, political parties, governmental reform, rule of law, civil society, independent media, labor unions, decentralization, and other elements of what Carothers describes as "the democracy template" that policy makers and aid officials apply around the world.
Belarus, although frequently overlooked in the West, is a country critical to the development of the post-Soviet states and to Europe as a whole. Its location alone points to Belarus's importance as a major geopolitical player. On top of that, the ambitions of its president mean that Belarus will likely have a say in the future of Russia, Ukraine, and other neighboring states.
Several factors explain why a growing number of regimes are adopting outwardly more democratic political systems: the loss of appeal of socialist systems during the 1990s, the creation of newly independent states, and the corresponding need felt by an increasing number of governments to legitimize themselves in the eyes of their citizens and of the international community.
Western aid for civil-society development in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union needs to be evaluated from a past-present-future standpoint. It is also important to place the aid in the context of developments in the region.
Economic transformation in the former Soviet Union has been arduous with substantial declines in output and welfare. Even in this unfortunate lot, Ukraine stands out as one of the least successful countries in its attempts to become a productive market economy. The purpose of this paper is to try to determine why Ukraine has not been more auspicious in its attempts at economic reform.
The partition of Kosovo--let alone Macedonia--and the acceptance of solutions involving partition for the Caucasus will take courage on the part of Western leaders, because it would require deals (especially with Russia) which will be unpopular with Congress. But at a time when servicemen are being required to show courage in the field, it is not inappropriate to ask their leaders to do the same.