A ‘globalisation’ perspective on the transformation of state socialist
countries is under-developed. The paper studies both the influence of international
economic interests under state socialism, and the economic integration of the post-communist
countries into the world system in the post-1989 period of the building of capitalism.
The focus of the paper is on the extent of economic globalisation of countries and
their economic corporations. It is contended that the globalisation of capitalist
companies and the direct role of global economic forces had little importance under
state socialism. The semi-periphery was largely autonomous in the world system, though
it did not provide a threat to the core nations. Since 1989, policy orientations
of the former state socialist countries have been geared to ‘joining’
the world system, optimistically its core. Important differences developed between
the post-socialist states with respect to economic penetration and exposure to the
world market. The outcomes have not fulfilled the expectations of those advocating
entering the world economy. No former state society has entered the ‘core’.
A slide to the periphery has occurred: there is an absence of large scale global
companies, of significant innovation and research and development. There has been
a decline in their relative economic and welfare positions, though some countries
have fared worse than others. Greater participation in the global economy is characteristic
of the central European states and Estonia; whereas Russia has a hybrid social formation
containing elements of state economic control, national capitalism and global capitalism.
It is concluded that the semi-periphery is not a transient category in the world
economy, it has potential for persistence and renewal. Policy for the CIS states
should be to develop a position in the semi-periphery.
Globalization, international economic interests, integration of the post-communist countries into the world system