Transformation Theory and Korea’s Rise After the Asian Crisis
PART 1 THE INSTITUTIONAL CHALLENGE AND THE TRANSFORMATION OF TRANSITION THEORY
33 Chapter 2: Toward a More General Theory of Transformation 2.1 Introduction The scientific interest in studying problems of transformation of economic sys- tems posed a major challenge for economic science after the revolutionary events of 1989 and 1990. As transition in CEE began, economic science (especially the neoclassical mainstream) was accused of having neglected systemic changes in favour of more and more exact mathematical formulations of equilibrium model economies. Afterwards, the study of changes of economic systems became central to new research programmes, journals and even institutes.2 To give a complete bibliography of “transition studies” and “transformation studies” is no longer possible.3 The problems studied are not confined to the concrete transitional phase from a centrally planned to a market economy, since “when stabilization, liberalization and privatization is mastered, transition is over. But transforming the system, as EU countries know only too well, is a never-ending process.”4 Nevertheless, the main focus of transition studies were the former centrally planned economies in CEE and Asia (Schulders, 1998). In spite of this obvious interest in transition, the development of a scientific dis- cussion on economic transition was often met with uneasiness (Horne, 1995: 25; Angresano, 1996: 474-477; Shleifer, 1997; Herrmann-Pillath, 1998a; Hermann- Pillath, 1999a; Polterovich, 1999). The uneasiness starts with the lack of clarity in defining transition and transformation, especially as separate from evolution of economic systems. Also, there is no consensus on whether transformation is an organized or a spontaneous process, how far cultural factors account for trans- formation,...
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