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Central and Eastern Europe - Continuing Transformation
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Publication of the "Personal and Institutional Strategies
for Management of Transformation Risks in Central and Eastern Europe" Project



Nikolai Genov, Ed.

Paris, Sofia, 1998
ISBN 954-8443-05-8


The transformation in Central and Eastern Europe is the most impressive social experiment at the end of our century. New actors and social structures take the lead in complex and complicated processes. Individuals have to change basic attitudes and patterns of behaviour. Institutions and societies have to adapt to a new situation of open borders and global trends. The changes in the region are profound, multidimensional and occur simultaneously.

Nobody can be fully prepared to meet such challenges. The emerging private entrepreneurs have to learn the rules of market economy from the scratch. Professional politicians and people on the street alike learn the principles and procedures of democratic politics. The modern value system focused on the universal rights of the human being puts new requirements to institutions and to everyday communication. The stress of intensive learning, reconsidering, reorienting and restructuring is enormous.

In many cases people in Central and Eastern Europe learn about new opportunities. Millions already learned, however, that for them transformation means unemployment, decline of living standard and of quality of life first of all. The euphoria of the early nineties is over. The sobering everyday experience raises a key question: How to manage the transformation efficiently? This means, by opening a maximum of opportunities for economic initiatives, for democratic freedoms and for cultural development of individuals and groups. It also means - by well organized efforts to minimize the destructive effects of the transformation and especially its social costs.

Both tasks inspire the activities of the social scientific programme of UNESCO Management of Social Transformations (MOST) in Central and Eastern Europe. Its project on "Personal and Institutional Strategies for Coping with Transformation Risks" covers the most sensitive social problems of seven countries in the region. The scientific and practical relevance of the project gains very much from its special focus on unemployment as a major social risk and on the strategies for coping with it. The present volume documents the wide variety of ideas debated in the framework of the project.

The Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation has supported the UNESCO-MOST project on Central and Eastern Europe from its inception. The Foundation paid a special attention to the International Conference on "Assessment and Management of Transformation Risks" (Sofia, 6-7 February, 1998). The present volume includes the elaborated papers presented at the Conference. We hope very much that the publication will facilitate both the better understanding of the ongoing transformation as well as its well organized and socially sensitive management.

The Secretariat of the UNESCO-MOST Programme and the Regional Bureau of the Friedrich-Ebert Foundation in Sofia express their gratitude to the scientists and decision-makers who invest expertise and personal dedication in the important project on transformation risks in Central and Eastern Europe. Special thanks have to go to the Project Leader Professor Nikolai Genov.

    Paul de Guchteneire
    UNESCO-MOST, Paris

    Marc Meinardus
    Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation, Bonn-Sofia



    Editor’s Introduction

    Central and Eastern Europe: Challenges of Continuing Transformation
    Nikolai Genov, Sofia


    Risks of Success: The Special Case of East Germany
    Michael Thomas, Berlin

    Transformation Risks and Human Capital Development
    Zhivko Nedev, Sofia

    Underestimation of Complexity: On a Major Risk in the Post-Communist Transformation
    Michal Illner, Prague

    Transformation Risks: The Experience of Disintegrated Societies
    Aivars Tabuns, Riga

    Assessment of Transformation Risks: The Case of Macedonia
    Mirjana Maleska, Skopje

    Transformation and the Threat of Drug Abuse
    Yantsislav Yanakiev, Sofia


    New Strategies and Programmes of Promoting Employment and Counteracting
    Unemployment in Poland
    Mieczislaw Kabaj, Warsaw

    The Labour Market in Bulgaria
    Oleg Chulev, Sofia

    Outsiders in the Labour Market: Russian Men and Women Facing Unemployment
    Elena Mezentseva, Moscow
    Prospects for Adaptation of the Bulgarian Labour Market to the European Union
    Sasha Todorova, Sofia

    Unemployment, Political Protest and Radicalism: The Example of East Germany
    Karl-Dieter Opp, Leipzig

    Unemployment and Poverty
    Maria Zhelyazkova, Sofia

    Unemployment: Challenges to Education
    Mariana Zakharieva, Sofia

    Unemployment and Crime
    Anna Mantarova, Sofia

    Strategies of Former Military Officers for Getting New Employment
    Petar Stoimenov, Christo Domozetov, Sofia

    Communication Problems of the Unemployed
    Vyara Gancheva, Sofia

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