Economic Transformation and Comparative Politics

Timothy Frye

in The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Politics

Published in print July 2009 | ISBN: 9780199566020
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Political Science

Economic Transformation and Comparative Politics

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  • Political Institutions



This article discusses how research on the transformation of command economies has contributed to the broader literature in comparative politics. It depicts the great variation in economic reform across countries over the last fifteen years, and examines how the European Union (EU), quality of governance, regime type, and interest groups influenced economic reform. The article attempts to identify ways in which stronger causal links between middle-range factors and economic reform can be linked. Arguments criticizing middle-range theories due to lack of causal depth are reviewed as well. The article ends by presenting an attempt to combine temporally proximate and distant factors into an explanation for reform outcomes in the region. The argument is focused on the impact of executive partisanship, democratic institutions, and the relation of the Communist Party to national sovereignty before 1989.

Keywords: command economies; economic reform; variation; European Union; quality of governance; regime type; interest groups; causal links; middle-range theories; causal depth

Article.  13137 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; Comparative Politics ; Political Institutions

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