Democratic Governance in the Transition from Yugoslav Self-Management to a Market Economy : The Case of the Slovenian Privatization Debates 1990-1992

University dissertation from Uppsala : Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis

Abstract: The main object of this doctoral dissertation is the Slovenian transition to a market economy with a focus on the genesis of the Slovenian privatization model and the political and legislative process behind its formulation. Starting from a presentation of the international context and historical legacies, the study investigates the almost three-year-long Slovenian theoretical, parliamentary, economic, political and public debates (1990-1992) concerning the choice of model and institutional framework for large-scale privatization. In particular the legislative and discursive shaping of the text of the Law on Ownership Transformation of Enterprises is analyzed. The thesis addresses the design of a property rights regime as a genuinely political meta-process of structuring that involves a redistribution of social assets, with important economic and social consequences for different groups in society, through which the conception of a just society is redefined. The study applies the heterodox institutional approach to analyze institutional choices in the "transition to market". Such a perspective questions the simple causal explanations of the mechanisms of diffusion and the role of dominant ideas and ideologies in shaping institutions. Furthermore, the conventional understanding of institutions and history as structural constraints is challenged in order to open for the exploration of the conditions, mechanisms and processes of institutional change in terms of actors' contingencies for development of new institutions and path shifts through learning and problem-solving processes, interaction and interpretation. The influence of the Slovenian experience with Yugoslav self-management on institutional change is explored.

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