Civil Society, Institutional Change and the Politics of Reform
The Great Transition
This paper examines the relationship between differences in civil society development under communism and the political, economic and institutional change and transformation after 1989. We collected a unique dataset on nature and intensity of dissident activities in 27 former communist countries during the years immediately preceding the collapse of communism. We use the resulting data to explain the subsequent political, economic and institutional developments in the post-communist countries. Both extent of political opposition and severity of government reaction help explain the choice of political regime after 1989, the concentration of power government and the nature and pace of economic reforms.