For those concerned with democratization in the communist world, the final years of the Soviet Union were a truly exhilarating time. At the end of the Gorbachev era, the Soviet Union experienced an explosion of grassroots nongovernmental activity. For the first time in nearly a century, civic groups, trade unions, political parties, and newspapers organized and operated independent of the state.
The papers in this volume are revised versions of presentations made by the authors at a conference on economic reform in Russia, which was held at Stanford University on November 22 and 23, 1993. Professor Kenneth Arrow from Stanford chaired the conference, which was sponsored by the university's Center for International Security and Arms Control ( CISAC), under the auspices of its project on Russian defense conversion, and by the Moscow-based Institute for the Economy in Transition.
During the most recent Russian-American summit in Vancouver, Canada in April 1993, President Clinton announced a major new initiative to assist Russia's transition to a market economy. In discussing how to aid the process of Russia's economic reform in ways of mutual benefit to both the United States and Russia, both President Yeltsin and President Clinton underscored the importance of promoting the conversion and privatization of state enterprises of the Russian military-industrial complex.