Changes in socialist states' policies on trade with OECD countries, 1976-1985.
By the second half of the 1980s, the USSR was on the br i nk
of the most ambitious and far-reaching reform programme f or
decades. This study concentrates on a policy area which is
an integral element of the overall economic reform strategy
- foreign economic relations with the developed capitalist
Gorbachev's policy of 'opening up' to the West is a
continuation of a process which began during the 1960s but
was interrupted as the USSR entered a phase of retreat f rom
the world economy between 1976 and 1985. The Soviet policy
line was not followed by all of its CMEA allies, most
notably Hungary where the intention was declared to pursue
further integration into the world economy.
Concentrating on the USSR and Hungary in particular, this
study examines the range of factors, internal as well a s
external, which influenced CMEA countries' policies on
economic relations with the OECD countries between 1976 and
1985. A number of important issues are covered, including
the following. The reasons why the USSR and Hungary
preferred different long term strategies. The role of nonleadership
groups in each country's policy process. What
the most important long term influences on CMEA countries'
relations with the world economy are. Factors which affect
East European leaderships' abilities to implement radical
reform in the domestic economy and in foreign economic
relations. The relationship between foreign trade poli cy
and domestic economic and political reform.
The case studies show how all the above issues a r e
interrelated and highlight a range of phenomena applicable
to all CMEA countries during a decade in which they faced
acute dilemmas over their future development.