Former communist countries in East-Central Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States and Asia have, in significantly different ways, been heading towards capitalism. This book sets their experience against the 'varieties of capitalism' paradigm, as developed by authors using an approach based on institutional economics. By avoiding the assumption that all tranformations must lead into one kind of market economy, it provides a useful and novel framework for comparing the courses and current outcomes of very different transformation processes. However it becomes clear that the rather different heritages of the communist and even pre-communist pasts mean there is no close fit with the ideal types used for analysing and comparing mature market economies. The work therefore has implications for the more general discussion of differences between kinds of capitalism, pointing to the need to place more emphasis on change and development and hence on political and social interests.

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