Scenarios for Central and Eastern Europe against the Backdrop of Economic Recovery and European Integration
in: Central and Eastern Europe Beyond Transition: Convergence and Divergence in Europe, ed. by European Science Foundation, Strasbourg: European Science Foundation 2012, 23-34 (Co-author: V. Pettai)
Scholars of post-communist change in Central and Eastern Europe have continually faced an analytical challenge as to whether to stress convergence or divergence when interpreting social, economic and political transformation in the region. Across many systemic categories, the imperative has been to highlight patterns of convergence. All the countries of the region were encouraged to build democratic institutions, develop market economies and rebuild social cohesion. And indeed within a few short years a number of indicators across these domains showed signs of approximation with Western European levels. Free market exchange became well established, democracy was nearing consolidation, and social decline appeared at least arrested.