Naval War College Review


Edward Wagner


Historically, most countries first de- velop a market economy, even under oppressive conditions, before develop- ing a democracy. However, the 1989 revolutions in Central and Eastern Eu- rope produced a counter case—the ini- tiation of simultaneous democratic and economic reforms. Many policy makers and academics outside the region have recommended that stability lies in a co- herent and rigid reform plan for all such states. The United States, for ex- ample, has suggested and still some- times emphasizes a “cookie cutter” or “one size fits all” recommendation for economic reform, emphasizing stabili- zation, liberalization, and privatization. Economic reform, Washington argues, should be placed above the “whims” of politics and not fall victim to victories of the left or right.