European Emerging Markets: Economic Transformation and Development of Ex-Communist Countries

Modular value: 20 credits
Duration: Term 1
Teaching: One two-hour seminar per week.

Lecturer: Julian Cooper

The module will provide an understanding of the institutions of traditional soviet-type economies and the consequences of those institutions for economic performance during the period of communist rule in eastern Europe and the USSR.

To introduce graduate students to the more advanced Western literature about these economies, and the theory and evidence contained in that literature. With that background, to provide a good basic understanding of the issues raised by attempts since 1989 to transform these economies into market economies, and to introduce students to the literature, theories and evidence bearing on these transformation attempts, leading up to integration into the world economy, and EU enlargement.

Course Outline:

  • Historical background to the Soviet-type economy
  • Economic performance and institutional features of STEs
  • Kornai’s theory of the shortage economy; conceptual approaches to ‘transformation’
  • Elements of the transformation process
  • Social consequences
  • Foreign investment
  • EU enlargement
  • Case studies of  national strategies and outcomes, especially Russia, Poland, Hungary, Estonia and Uzbekistan


  • One 2,500-word essay (70%)
  • One book review, 1,500 words (30%)