already established elsewhere in the world, while others may look quite different from any existing market or communist model. Some of each group may thrive while others prove unworkable.
The task force began its work roughly at the same time that the initial phases of the transformation process were yielding to later phases, with different goals and emphases, in much of Central Europe and the Baltic states. Initially, the overwhelming priorities were stabilization and liberalization—particularly the dismantling of old controls on prices, trade, and investment. As these measures took hold in Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, and the Baltic states, the attention of policymakers and advisors shifted to the much more diverse and complex tasks of creating new institutions and frameworks for effective governance and economic growth, while continuing to keep a watchful eye on macroeconomic management. Elsewhere in Eastern Europe, and in most of the New Independent States, the early phases of transformation, characterized by the struggle for stabilization, liberalization, and privatization, has taken longer and been much less decisive. In these areas, the challenges of designing institutional reforms and creating new regulatory and social-sector frameworks appropriate to mainly market economies will be more difficult, and will have to be tackled simultaneously with the yet-to-be-completed initial phase of transformation.
As more post-communist countries move into later phases of transformation, the policy guidance provided by neoliberal economics becomes more limited and partial. While there are criteria for restructuring financial sectors consistent with the requirements of market economies, there is no single template from which one can draw the precise outlines of any of the components of an economic system (including central banks, monetary policies, investment incentives, monitoring systems, and savings institutions) that will foster both well-being and economic growth. Still less is there a single formula, or even a great deal of technical agreement in the West, regarding how to design new pension or educational systems or the most appropriate labor market institutions. Indeed, many semi-industrial and industrial nations outside the post-communist world continue to grapple with similar issues. Far from being able to apply a well-understood model to achieve predictable outcomes, analysts and practitioners are groping at the frontiers of knowledge, seeking better insights and ways of grasping the complex, dynamic, and interacting processes of transformation.
In seeking to contribute to these efforts, the task force looked for innovative ways to determine what is occurring in these diverse systems, to unravel some of the unexpected consequences of policies, and to trace the strategies and networks different actors are using to cope with the uncertainties of transformation. The task force recognizes that many approaches are useful and that no single approach will be adequate in such a complex endeavor. It has, however, chosen to emphasize one approach in this volume—the analysis of