The twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall has stimulated much reflection on the political, economic and social transitions that have taken place in the past two decades. Many Central European and Baltic countries initially appeared to epitomize a successful transition to markets and democracy,becoming full members of the European Union. Yet the impact of the recent global financial crisis has called into question the stability of their success, and the viability of existing political arrangements. This book focuses on the long term development of the former Soviet bloc, providing a stimulating discussion on a range of important issues, including institutional development, demographic trends and the role of civil society. Twenty three eminent scholars discuss the effects and implications of reform policies, providing a unique perspective on the past as well as the economic prospects for the future. 'There were pleasant and unpleasant surprises in the transition process. It certainly did not occur in a vacuum and this volume, by some of the best experts on the subject, helps shed light on long-run trends in former socialist countries.' - Vaclav Havel, former President of Czechoslovakia (1989-1992) and President of the Czech Republic (1993-2003) 'This is an excellent volume on the transition process from central planning to a market economy. Reflecting the views of many of the most distinguished analysts, the book provides a mature perspective on one of the most important economic phenomena of the 20th and 21st century. It is a must read for anyone interested in understanding the transition.' - Jan Svejnar, Director of the International Policy Center at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan.