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Restructuring Networks in Post-SocialismLegacies, Linkages and Localities$
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Gernot Grabher and David Stark

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198290209

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198290209.001.0001

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The Antinomies of Privatization in Eastern Europe

The Antinomies of Privatization in Eastern Europe

(p.265) 11 The Antinomies of Privatization in Eastern Europe
Restructuring Networks in Post-Socialism

Gernot Grabher

David Stark

Oxford University Press

This chapter asks why the rhetoric of privatization came to dominate the transition debate. It tries to unpack the different meanings contained within the term ‘privatization’. It also provides preliminary hypotheses about why this discourse of market transition arose, and how it relates to the actual political and economic processes occurring in the region. Privatization was assumed to be a Good Thing, both in the West and among the policy elites of Eastern Europe. The main threats to the reform package are potential opposition from social groups who stood to lose the economic privileges they had enjoyed under socialism, and the newly enfranchised general population. There are four main schools of thought that emerged on how to deal with these political challenges: pay-off, window of opportunity, populism, and the social safety net.

Keywords:   pay-off, social safety net, populism, privatization, reform package, window of opportunity

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