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date: 17 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article discusses how research on the transformation of command economies has contributed to the broader literature in comparative politics. It depicts the great variation in economic reform across countries over the last fifteen years, and examines how the European Union (EU), quality of governance, regime type, and interest groups influenced economic reform. The article attempts to identify ways in which stronger causal links between middle-range factors and economic reform can be linked. Arguments criticizing middle-range theories due to lack of causal depth are reviewed as well. The article ends by presenting an attempt to combine temporally proximate and distant factors into an explanation for reform outcomes in the region. The argument is focused on the impact of executive partisanship, democratic institutions, and the relation of the Communist Party to national sovereignty before 1989.

Keywords: command economies, economic reform, variation, European Union, quality of governance, regime type, interest groups, causal links, middle-range theories, causal depth

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