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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: August 2019

1. - Globalisation

Summary

‘1989’ and the dismantling of communist rule was less the beginning of the region’s globalisation than a confirmation of a choice about the form of globalisation that the region would take. Alternative, non-Western-centric forms of global integration were abandoned and neoliberal economics became dominant. Yet this was not a Western imposition: local elites in many bloc countries, responding to shifts in an increasingly financialised and debt-ridden global economy, began a gradual process of realignment long before 1989. In re-imagining the region’s economic future, elites looked as much to East Asia or Latin America as they did to the West. Some considered an authoritarian Communist-led neoliberal globalization which was eventually defeated in 1989. These shifts in part explain why the neoliberal transformation in Eastern Europe after 1989 occurred at such speed.