Economic Restructuring and Local Environmental Management in the Czech Republic

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This book employs a geographical perspective to investigate the nature of the transition from state socialism to capitalism in Central and Eastern Europe, and its implications for the quality of the environment, using the extended case study of the Most District located in the Czech Republic. It focuses on four areas of investigation: economic transition from the centrally planned to a market economy in coal mining and the petrochemical industry; political transition from the one party system to a democratic society and its implications for the local government system; effects of economic and political transitions on the quality of the environment and local environmental management; and popular attitudes of Most District citizens toward democratization, economic change and the environment.


“. . . bravely attempts to make such a synthesis of empirical research and current theory. His contention. . . is that the much-vaunted ‘smooth’ and linear transition from state socialism to modern, western-style capitalism is largely a mirage and is, in fact, a highly contested series of processes with widely varying results, especially in terms of geographical scales. . . .One of the strengths of Pavlinek’s approach lies in the detailed material relating to the case study area, the heavy industrial district of Most in North Bohemia. Within the case studies of the district in general and the local coal and chemical industries, a great deal of new data is presented for the first time in English.” – European Environment “. . . the undoubted strength of this book lies in its superb attention to detail and the attempt to place a wealth of empirical documentary and field data (questionnaires and interviews) into a comprehensive summary.” – SEER

“The book is essentially a case study with some insights and excursions into theory but its real strength lies in the fact that it admirably illustrates the considerably gulf between the national picture of transition and its impact at the local level, especially away from the capital city. This detailed study shows clearly that the transition from state socialism should definitely take into consideration the complexity of social, economic, political and cultural change which is taking place in what the author refers to as concrete historical and geographical conditions at the local and regional levels.” – Regional Studies "The two detailed case studies carried out - coal mining in the Most area, and Chemopetrol, an industrial conglomerate - are excellent and revealing. Not only do they serve as a solid foundation for many of his analyses, but they will be also appreciated by other scholars studying the transition process. . . . some of his opinions and conclusions will be considered controversial. The greatest, unquestionable and lasting strength of the book, however, is its solid empirical base. It cannot be ignored by any analyst who plans to undertake a serious study of environmental policies in the transition process." - Tomasz Zylicz

Table of Contents

Table of contents:
Liberal Productivism and Transition in Central and Eastern Europe
Political Economic Interpretations of the Transition
Uneven Development, Geographical Scale and the Study of Transition
State Socialism, Transition to Capitalism and the Environment
Political Economy of the Most District and its Environment before 1989
Privatization and Restructuring of Coal Mining in the Most District
Privatization and Restructuring of the Chemical Industry in the Most District
Local Government and Environmental Management in the Most District
Popular Attitudes to the Transition and Environment in the Most District

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