Call for papers vol 9, no. 1, 2018 is open until 30 March 2018


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as Cohen enumerates, in the worst industrial depression, flight of capital abroad, hyperinflation
and abrupt decontrol of prices, currency collapse and pyramid schemes that wiped
out life savings of the citizens, massive corruption, impoversihment, detoriation of health.
The results can be summarized in short as - economic freedom and benefits for the few,
and regression, „demodernization” for the majority. This means that the neo-liberal project
could not but have a „narrow social basis”. In order to transcend this lack of social support,
the implementers of shock therapies implemented their reforms swiftly, treating societies
as tabula rasa, radically erasing social achievements of the past, for nothing deserved to
survive, become part of the new historical chapter. The speed of the implemented reforms
(shock therapies) caused confusion, apathy, deprived the citizens of the possibility to
defend their interests (N. Klein). Moderation, was relinquinshed (S. Cohen) in the name of
speedy reforms that would in fact, secure the overnight transfer of the state owned
property into few private hands. For this reason, some economists have defined the
transition from socialism to neoliberalism as the biggest historical plundering of state and
social property. However, the new normative project based on the protection of human
rights and extension of democracy was not problematized in relation to this form of
transition and its dramatic social consequences; social rights/social deprivation never
become an equally dramatic question as did political, civil rights. Nor were the external
„binding constraints” perceived as serious challenges to the processes of democratization.
Many have depicted the social consequences of the neoliberal project - leading to the
widening gap between the rich and poor in and between countries, to the production of
„too many loosers” (J. Stiglitz) on the global stage. The common thread in the analysis of
the social consequences of neliberalism is captured by S. Gill: „Restructuring along marketdriven
lines tends to generate a deepening of social inequality, a rise in rates and intensity
of exploitation of labour, growth in social polarization, gender inequality, a widespread
sense of social and economic insecurity, and, not least, pervasive disenchantment with
conventional political pratice. Such a situation may also open the door to the appeals of
“In effect, the United States was to teach ex-communist Russia how to become a capitalist and democratic
country and oversee the process of conversion know as a “transition”. Certainly, Russia was not to be
trusted to find its own kinds of change, lest it wander off… ‘on a strange, ambivalent path of its own confused
devising.’ The lessons to be taught were simple but stern. Economic reform meant “shock therapy” and
tight-fisted monetarism, especially severe budgetary austerity and end to Soviet/era consumer and welfare
subsidies, wholesale privatization of Russian state enterprises and other assets, opening the country’s markets
to foreign producers, and a minimal role for the government… In that spirit, legions of American political
missionaries and evangelists, usually called “advisers,” spread across Russia in the early and mid
1990s.” S. Cohen (2000), Failed Crusade, America and the Tragedy of Post-Communist Russia, New York,
W.W. Norton &Company, p. 7

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