Learning from Transition: From the Local to the Global

Learning from Transition: From the Local to the Global

The last 25 years of transition in Eurasia witnessed institutional transformation on a historical scale.  New institutions aimed to cement the rule of law, pluralistic democracies and market economies in the region, but hindsight suggests that transition was more complicated.  This year’s core project, Learning from Transition, unpacks assumptions about the path of political, social and economic reforms in the region by critically examining the conditions for scalability and portability of institutions.   Can insights from the transition experience in our region be brought to bear on policy and institutional design in other settings?  When do local solutions work best? When should we favor international solutions?  Why are efforts to reform institutions and policies hard to sustain over space and time?  How can local level successes be scaled up? How can diverse stakeholders promote collective goals?  We aim to develop insights about these issues especially with reference to expectations, strategies, and preliminary outcomes in other parts of the world that have embarked on similarly ambitious reforms, including East Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. 

Co-directors Katharina Pistor and David Stark will be joined by two Harriman Postdoctoral Fellows. 

This Project has two separate components:

Who’s Learning from Whom? 

David Stark, Director; Elena Krumova, Postdoctoral Fellow

In late 1989 and early 1990, the dominant idea was that policymakers in Eastern Europe would be learning from the West. The term “transition” offered an image in which East Europeans were on a road to catching up with Western institutions which had earlier “arrived” at the right answers for the proper models of the relationship between markets and democracies. Twenty five years later, our goal is to consolidate existing research – less about “1989” itself than about the past 25 years of experience with political and economic transformation. To do so, this component of the Harriman Core Project for 2014-15 will focus on how different actors are learning from each other.  Who is paying attention to whom? And what new combinations are being cobbled together in this process?

To learn more please follow this link.

Learning from Transition: The Impact of Legal and Financial Globalization

Katharina Pistor, Director; Igor Logvinenko, Postdoctoral Fellow

As part of this year’s Core Project we developed two themes that situate transitions in the process of globalization. In October of 2014, we held a workshop devoted to the first theme “Legal Globalization and Transitions.” Legal globalization refers to the outsourcing of lawmaking and law enforcement from domestic to foreign or international institutions, public or private actors. Transition economies were not the only countries affected by legal globalization, but they may have experienced it on the largest scale. In the course of the workshop, we identified two keys pathways by which legal globalization influenced transition economies. To read more please follow this link.

Join us for a forum on financial globalization and transitions on April 17, 2015: Event Poster