The collapse of the former socialist states has led to the transformation of their political, economic and social systems as well as a major change in international orientations. In this context, new economic and political elites of the former state socialist societies have emerged. How they have emerged from state socialism is a major component of this book which has two major themes. First, we consider the recruitment patterns of the new elites, among others the extent to which the new leaderships have been reconstituted from the former cadres of state socialism. Second we outline the consequences of transformation on the institutions, particularly the formation of markets and privatisation in the context of the dynamic of the enlargement of the European Union and the entry of the new states into the world system.
This collection of papes is based mostly on two conferences out of six serial conferences under the general responsibility of David Lane, Cambridge University. The first conference was held in Budapest on 4-5 September 2004 at Corvinus University of Budapest (Institute of Sociology and Social Policy, Centre for Empirical Social Research) and organized by György Lengyel, the second on 13-14 May 2005 at University of Bremen (Institute of Sociology/Institute Labour and Economy) led by Jochen Tholen.