Philosophy Today 30 (4):599-627 (2002)

Since the late 1990s, a consensus has emerged among scholars of the post-communist transitions that an enfeebled state is not an asset but a liability to a transition economy. Moreover, it is now accepted that underdeveloped fiscal capacity is a leading cause of state weakness in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. This article compares the alternative revenue extraction strategies developed by state leaders in post-communist Poland and Russia. It stresses political institutional constraints to explain why Poland opted for a social pact with labor over household incomes, while Russia developed a system of elite bargaining over corporate profits.
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DOI 10.1177/0090591702030004005
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