The Rise and Fall of Soviet Bloc: A Chronology

Until mid 80s the Soviet-type centrally planned economies of Eastern Europe and of the Former Soviet Union were regarded by many Western economists as different, less efficient, but viable economic system! 

One of the reasons for that view  may have been a spectacular industrial growth of the Soviet economy in 1930s when USA and Western Europe were hit by Great Depression.

Another possible reason: the Soviet Union suffered enormous damages during the World War II but recovered and became an economic and military superpower. East European countries that adopted the Soviet-type system after the war were rapidly industrialized and in spite of some setbacks seemed to be catching up with traditionally more developed Western Europe.

Suddenly in the 1980 the economic growth in the Soviet Union and the Socialist countries of Eastern Europe came almost to the halt. Gorbachev tried to restructure the Soviet economic system hoping that the economy would resume the fast growth. But his 'perestroika' did not work. At the end of 1980s the Soviet type central planning as well as the political system of communism collapsed both in the USSR and in Eastern Europe.

From that time all these countries have been on a transition path to capitalist market economy, and it appears to be extremely hard.

Read more  about:

What is Eastern Europe (EE)
What is the Former Soviet Union (FSU)

The meanning of the term "Socialism"

How Socialism emerged in the FSU

How Socialism emerged in EE
Types of the economic systems








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