Conflicting Interests in the Comecon Integration

State Socialist Debates on East-West-South Relations

In: East Central Europe
Tamás Gerőcs Institute of World Economics HAS – Corvinus University of Budapest,

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András Pinkasz Hungarian Central Statistical Office; Corvinus University of Budapest,

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In our analysis of Comecon’s role in the capitalist world system, we gauge its member nations’ joint and individual opportunities to take advantage of global processes of modernization and describe the systemic contradictions that hampered their efforts to integrate themselves into a common market. We examine the developmental history of the Comecon countries through the lens of semiperipheral dependent development, that is, from the perspective that these countries’ relative positions in the international division of labor limited their access to advanced technology and external financing. In the course of the economic reforms of the 1960s, authorities in the Comecon countries attempted to reduce their dependence on the world system by means of complementary specialization. Regionally dominant world economic forces, however, both obstructed the evolution of this cooperative system and intensified the economic competition among Comecon’s member states.

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