State, Labor, and the Transition to a Market Economy
Egypt, Poland, Mexico, and the Czech Republic
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: Penn State University Press
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Table of Contents
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List of Tables
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The idea for what eventually became this book first came about in the early1990s in Cairo during a lecture by a World Bank official. He compared Egypt’seconomic reform program to the one that Poland was implementing at thetime, and in particular the debt-forgiveness deal both countries made withtheir international creditors. This unlikely comparison intrigued me and would...
List of Acronyms
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In the 1980s, sharp increases in foreign debt and severe macroeconomic instability combined to produce urgent economic crises throughout the devel-oping world. Drawing on newly influential economic analyses that identifiedstate intervention as the primary culprit, reform programs sought to confinethe state to a minimal regulatory role while permitting unrestrained market...
Chapter 1: Parties, Unions, and Economic Reforms
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As we saw in the Introduction, the ways in which organized labor reacted tochanges associated with structural adjustment—and, more important, whetherit succeeded in influencing the shape of privatization policies—differed markedlyin Poland, Egypt, Mexico, and the Czech Republic. As we have also seen, theextant literature, while providing many important insights into the dynamics...
Chapter 2: Ruling Parties, Organized Labor, and Transitions to Democracy: Poland and Czechoslovakia
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When the Polish and Czechoslovak governments initiated economic reformsfollowing the fall of Communism, they encountered very different labor organi-zations. Polish unions, as will be examined in Chapter 4, emerged as influentialactors and significantly shaped the process of privatization design and imple-mentation. Unions in Czechoslovakia, however, were unable to play such a...
Chapter 3: Ruling Parties, Organized Labor, and Continued Authoritarianism: Egypt and Mexico
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Unlike Poland and Czechoslovakia, neither Egypt nor Mexico experienced apolitical transition as it initiated economic reforms. As we will see in the chaptersthat follow, the persistence of authoritarianism in these two latter cases shapedthe strategies that organized labor used to influence public sector reform policies.The effectiveness of the strategies, however, was shaped more by the legacies of...
Chapter 4: Labor and Privatization in Poland
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The Roundtable discussions that took place in 1989 between opposition forcesand General Jaruzelski’s Communist regime laid the foundation for a transi-tion to democracy and market economy. Although the displacement of theCommunist ruling elite was not the intended goal of the agreement, the firstpartially free elections made clear that Polish United Workers Party’s (pzpr’s)...
Chapter 5: Labor and Privatization in Egypt
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In 1991, unable to resolve the persistent economic crisis and with the patienceof its international creditors waning, Egypt began reforming its economy. Thefirst phase of the program focused on stabilization, including unifying theexchange rate, liberalizing the banking system and the financial sector, bringingthe budget deficit under control, and lowering inflation. The second phase of...
Labor and Privatization in the Czech Republic and Mexico
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Like Poland and Egypt, Mexico and the Czech Republic embarked on a funda-mental restructuring of their economies. Mexico initiated reforms in 1982 inresponse to a profound economic crisis. The Czech Republic began its transi-tion to a market economy in the 1990s following the fall of the Communistgovernment. In both, the restructuring and privatization of the public sector was...
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Beginning in the 1980s, numerous countries across the developing and post-Communist world began the difficult process of reforming their economies,moving away from state-led development models toward a greater reliance onmarket mechanisms. Advocates of economic restructuring identified stateintervention in the economy as the main cause of low productivity, inefficiencies,...
Epilogue: The Uprising of 2011
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In December 2010, a wave of protests swept through Tunisia, fueled by anger at the self-immolation of a young street vendor, Mohamed Bouazizi. Soon the protests spread to other countries in the region. In Tunisia and Egypt theuprisings succeeded in deposing the countries’ presidents, Ben Ali and Mubarak,respectively. There the military was unwilling to back the countries’ rulers and...
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...“In this ambitious and innovative study, Paczynska draws upon an unusual pair-ing of very different countries—Poland and Egypt, Mexico and the Czech Re-public—to produce an important addition to the comparative literature on “In explaining the variation in the ability of labor organizations to determine the nature and pace of privatization design and implementation, Paczynska ...
Page Count: 288
Publication Year: 2012
Edition: Second Edition