The Arab and post-communist transitions: Similarities, differences, and common lessons
At the onset of the mass protests in 2010–2011, many politicians and experts suggested that Arab countries could learn from the experiences of the post-communist transition of the early 1990s. However, the geopolitical, historical, and socio-economic context of the Arab transition was different in many respects from that of the former Soviet bloc countries 20 years earlier. These differences became even more obvious five years later, in early 2016, when most Arab transition attempts ended either in a new wave of authoritarianism, or protracted bloody conflicts. Nonetheless, there are some common lessons to be learnt from the history of both transitions. They concern interrelations between the political and economic transition, the role of institutional checks and balances and the rule of law, the speed of reforms, the dangers of ethnic and sectarian conflicts, and the role of external support.
This book considers several aspects of the transformation of the former state socialist countries: social and economic outcomes; forces in the transformation process; problems of consolidation of the new regimes; and alternative scenarios. The book evaluates the course of transformation of state socialist societies. It focuses on economic change and its impact on inequality and health. Comparisons are made between the successful central European countries now members of the European Union with those of the former Soviet Union. There are detailed studies of the transformation of the (former) German Democratic Republic, Czech Republic, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, as well as the impact on Poland. A feature of the book is the impact of the collapse of state socialism on countries of Asia and the Third World. Alternative scenarios are considered, with specific chapters on China, Cuba, and North Korea. The book contemplates the alternative types of society that might replace state socialism, particularly state capitalism and market socialism.
It is not surprising that Mubarak’s administration “overlooked” the social explosion. Indeed, statistical data righteously claimed that the country was developing very successfully. Economic growth rates were high (even in the crisis years). Poverty and inequality levels were among the lowest in the Third World. Global food prices were rising, but the government was taking serious measures to mitigate their effect on the poorest layers of the population. Unemployment level (in per cent) was less than in many developed countries of the world and, moreover, was declining, and so were population growth rates. What would be the grounds to expect a full-scale social explosion? Of course, the administration had a sort of reliable information on the presence of certain groups of dissident “bloggers”, but how could one expect that they would be able to inspire to go to the Tahrir any great masses of people? It was even more difficult to figure out that Mubarak’s regime would be painfully struck by its own modernization successes of the 1980s, which led to the sharp decline of crude death rate and especially of infant and child mortality in 1975–1990. Without these successes many young Egyptians vehemently demanding Mubarak’s resignation (or even death) would have been destined to die in early childhood and simply would not have survived to come out to the Tahrir Square.
Article is devoted to research of the Belarusian-Russian relations since the end of 2013. The policy of Minsk passed deep evolution for the last year: from perfect allied rhetoric of A. Lukashenko before support of Kiev in the conflict in the southeast of Ukraine and smuggling crisis in the relations between Moscow and Kiev. The political reasons of political evolution of the Belarusian management are considered in this article.
Socio-economic development in the Arab world is an important element of global pattern changes in the early 21st century. They show a complex interaction of processes in the masses of the new young "Internet generations" and the elites, and somewhat forgotten gastarbiters. Matrix of kingdoms and republics, oil and non-oil countries make situation more complex for the region than for any separate country. From our viewpoint the political spring in the Arab world requires, first of all, the analysis of the Arab society, its nature and characteristics that distinguish it from societies of the Christian tradition of Europe and the Americas. And is it revolt of the middle class in one oil country or a rebellion of tribes? The new middle class, the information revolution and the dispossessed masses, including migrant workers in the background of the huge concentration of wealth of the ruling regimes represent the socio-economic reality of the Middle East that will be present in international politics in the next decade. And finally - to what extent the lesson of Lybia can be applicable to other oil countries? What may be lessons for other elites?
The article deals with the relationship of business and government through the various aspects of the conflict interaction. The author analyses border state of relationship between business and power, factors and possible solutions of conflict situations. The author makes an assumption that development of social relations in general can lead to transformation of inefficient system of relationships between business and power.
We address the external effects on public sector efficiency measures acquired using Data Envelopment Analysis. We use the health care system in Russian regions in 2011 to evaluate modern approaches to accounting for external effects. We propose a promising method of correcting DEA efficiency measures. Despite the multiple advantages DEA offers, the usage of this approach carries with it a number of methodological difficulties. Accounting for multiple factors of efficiency calls for more complex methods, among which the most promising are DMU clustering and calculating local production possibility frontiers. Using regression models for estimate correction requires further study due to possible systematic errors during estimation. A mixture of data correction and DMU clustering together with multi-stage DEA seems most promising at the moment. Analyzing several stages of transforming society’s resources into social welfare will allow for picking out the weak points in a state agency’s work.