Democracy is illiberal in many of the former Soviet states, including Russia.
Due to a long period of Imperial Russian and Soviet control, these countries have little historical experience of democracy.
Civil society is weak and those in power have enriched themselves through corrupt practices.
The data in Table 9.2 shows that the average score for Central Europe and the Baltics on a 7-point scale is 2.6, but for the Balkans 4.2 and the former Soviet republics of the Baltics, the score is 6.1.
The examples in Table 9.3 show how weak the support for democracy is in the former Soviet Union.
"Democracy Score" is a summary score of each country's electoral process, civil society, independent media, and corruption ratings as well as ratings for local democratic governance, national democratic governance, and judicial framework and independence.
The spread of democracy outside of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union has been slower than in other parts of the world.
In some cases, like North Korea and Cuba, opposition to liberalization has helped maintain the status quo.
Economic reform without political change is how China and Vietnam maintain their communist party's hold on power.
In Asia and Africa, communist regimes have given way, but often resulted in state collapse and civil war.
Afghanistan is the most notable of these.
After the Soviet Union's withdrawal from that country in 1989, civil war raged until 1996, when the Taliban gained power over most of the country, paving the way for the eventual establishment of Al Qaeda.
The legacies of communism and the Cold War are significant.
The task of reestablishing some separation between the state and the economy has been confronted by transitions from communism.
Privatization, or the transfer of state- held property into private hands, is one of the processes involved in this work.
The decisions about how to carry out the changes were influenced by political and economic alternatives.
Before we look at the different paths postcommunist countries have taken in each area, let's consider the ways in which privatization and marketization can be approached.
The transition from communism to capitalism requires a redefinition of property.
To generate economic growth and limit the power of the state, the state needs to trust economic resources to the public.
The task of privatization is not easy.
No country had ever gone from a communist economy to a capitalist one before 1989.
How to place prices on the various elements of the economy was one of the many questions and concerns facing the postcommunist coun tries.
In a system where no market has existed, determining the value of assets is difficult.
Increasing inequality and generating public resentment are risks of each option.
Depending on the country and its economic assets, privatization was carried out in many different ways.
Many large businesses, like automobile manufacturers, were sold to the highest bidder, often to foreign investors, while small businesses, like restaurants or retail shops, were often sold directly to their employees.
The public received shares in firms from other countries.
Scholars debated the benefits of each model, but in the end each form, whether alone or in combination, was shown to work well in some circumstances and bad in others.
Many firms that were overstaffed, outdated, and unable to turn a profit in a market economy were included in postcommunist coun tries.
Unemployment can occur in a society where employment had previously been guaranteed if firms are sold or downsized.
The main source of work in a city or region was often represented by such firms.
In some countries, privatization proceeded slowly for fear of social unrest and widespread unemployment.
To create a market in which property, labor, goods, and services could all function in a competitive environment, states needed to re- create private property.
Marketization appears to be easier than privatization because of the elimination of central planning.
Marketization is also complicated.
Marketization should take place quickly.
Changes should be gradual in order to minimize any social disruptions that might undermine the economies and democracies of postcommunist states.
Supporters of gradualism feared that sudden marketization would lead to a wild jump in prices as sellers were able to charge whatever they wanted for their goods.
The transition process could be undermined by inflation and hyperinflation.
The changes would be painful and cause high rates of inflation, but they would end sooner than gradualism.
Some postcommunist countries adopted the social democratic models of Western Europe and the United States while others adopted more mercantilist policies.
The answer depends on what country we are evaluating.
The table shows the results of 25 years of transition.
Greece and Portugal are poorer than a number of other countries in Europe.
Many of the former Soviet republics have not done as well as they could.
Ukraine is barely better off than it was before independence.
The countries that have done well have benefited from a number of factors, including shorter periods of Soviet control, more precommunist experience with industrialization, markets, and private property, and strong support from the European Union.
Better judicial structures can stem corruption and protect property rights as a result of stronger democratic institutions.