This collection of essays offers a compelling explanation for the decline of communism in the two countries that went the furthest with economic reforms--China and Hungary. Articulating a vision of change that serves as a counterpoint to the prevailing emphasis on citizen resistance and protest, the contributors focus instead on the declining organizational integrity of the centralized party-state. The essays illuminate a "quiet revolution from within" that beset the two regimes after they chose to reform their economies and make concessions to the private sector.
The nine contributors, three each from the disciplines of sociology, political science, and anthropology, examine key trends that appeared in both countries. The chapters trace political consequences of economic reform that range from the decline of the central state's fiscal dominance to the revitalization of long-suppressed ethnic loyalties.