The countries of Central and Eastern Europe have begun an unprecedented process of rapid change in their political, economic, and social characters. Using a unique comparative perspective, this volume brings together leading scholars from the United States and Eastern Europe to describe and analyze the political democratization and economic decentralization in Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Germany, and the fragmenting Soviet Union. The contributors explore the pace of democratic transformation in each country and find that political democracy has outpaced the development of a market economy, and that these transformations have considerable social costs. They also reveal the different levels of risk for Western investors that each country holds. They conclude that each of these countries will eventually develop a market economy consistent with its needs and desires, much different from the U.S. model. Shama's analysis includes observations on the abortive coup attempt in Moscow in August 1991, making this an up-to-date and relevant study of the present highly volatile situation in the region. The volume starts with a look at perestroika and glasnost in a comparative framework of economic and political restructuring. Perestroika and the implications for the future of the states in the Soviet Union are then explored. Hungary, Poland, and Czechoslovakia are also analyzed in terms of the accomplishments of their political and economic transformations. The case of East Germany receives special attention. The concluding chapter includes a systematic comparison of the above countries as well as Yugoslavia and Romania. Students and scholars of international politics and economics as well asmanagement experts will find this book useful in understanding the recent changes in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union.