3 - 2009
Rutland P.

Russia and China: Saga of Two Transitions to Market Economy


Both China and the Soviet Union and China embarked on a process of social transformation in the 1980s. The initial conditions were very different in the two countries (highly industrialized versus subsistence agriculture); and the leadership adopted very different strategies (democracy and economic liberalization versus continued Communist rule and a controlled market transition). Despite starting in different places and heading in different directions, they seem to be converging on a common end-point: an authoritarian, regulated market economy. Why is this so?