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New Left Review I/213, September-October 1995

Peter Gowan

Neo-Liberal Theory and Practice for Eastern Europe

Eastern Europe’s market for policy ideas, suddenly opened in 1989, was swiftly captured by an Anglo-American product with a liberal brand name. [1] I would like to thank Perry Anderson, Laszlo Andor, Robin Blackburn and Wendy Carlin for their comments and criticisms of an earlier draft of this essay—though of course this is not to say that they concur with all the views expressed in it. This policy equivalent of fast food erected barriers to other new entrants and established a virtual monopoly on advice in most target states in the region. While some critics view it as having as much connection with West European liberalism as a Big Mac has with boeuf bourguignon, it has made up for any deficiency by superb advertising and aggressive salesmanship.

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