The Centre for Research into Post-Communist Economies

Publications

A Liberating Economic Journey: Post- Communist Transition

Essays in Honour of Ljubo Sirc

Edited by Andrzej Brzeski & Jan Winiecki

Preface by Lord Harris of High Cross

Ljubo Sirc is the founder and director of the Centre for Research into Post-Communist Economies in London. He lectured in Political Economy for many years at Glasgow University. He has written several books and many articles. A homo politicus through and through, Sirc has been much more than a mere academic. Always engaged, exposing the fallacies and wrongs, and arguing for their rectification, in written word and speech, he never tired of propounding the principles of liberalism. Ljubo Sirc’s work was recognised in the Queen’s New Year Honours when was appointed a CBE for his services to the promotion of democracy in Central and Eastern Europe.

His autobiography, Between Hitler and Tito (Andre Deutsch, 1989), reveals the roots of that steadfast commitment. Having witnessed fascism and communism at close range, and personally suffered from these twin evils of our time, Sirc understood the crucial importance of a liberal order for human happiness. Yegor Gaidar, the former Russian prime minister wrote: ‘ his whole life is an example of continuous and unwavering service to the ideals of democracy, to the fight against all forms of totalitarianism and violence, in whatever guise they clothe themselves’ (From the Preface to Why the Communist Economies Failed, CRCE, 1994).

These essays, honouring him on his 80th Birthday, span the range of Ljubo Sirc’s interests in the communist experiment in Central and Eastern Europe and, above all, in the ongoing transformation of the economic system inherited from communism once the long expected failure of the experiment could no longer be denied. The current issues relating to the eastward enlargement of European integration, sometimes referred to as ‘post-transition issues’, belong here as well.

The contributors are: Zoltan Krasznai, Jan Winiecki, Silvana Malle, Laszlo Csaba, Joze Mencinger, Andrzej Brzeski, Andrzej Bratkowski & Jacek Rostowski, Sergei Vasiliev, Deepak Lal, Ljubomir Madzar and Christian Watrin.