Geographia Polonica (2005) vol. 78, iss. 2

Regional development and transformation of Central and Eastern European countries

Preface

Editorial

Bolesław Domański

Geographia Polonica (2006) vol. 78, iss. 2, pp. 5-7 | Full text

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Articles

Foreign economic relations and regional development in russia: continuity and change

Michael J. Bradshaw

Geographia Polonica (2005) vol. 78, iss. 2, pp. 9-30 | Full text

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Abstract:

During the Soviet period, central control over foreign economic relations enabled for-eign trade to address national economic problems. In geographical terms, funds generated by Siberia's resource exports were used to finance imports of western technology and agricultural products that were largely consumed in the European regions. In the post-Soviet period the level of central control is much reduced, but there is continuity in terms of the commodity structure of Russia's exports and the geographical consequences of foreign trade and investment activity. Now, as in the Soviet period, Russia's foreign economic relations serve to reinforce domestic patterns of regional development, in particular the core-periphery relationship between the Eu-ropean and Siberian regions of the country.

Keywords: Russia, foreign economic relations, regional development

Michael J. Bradshaw [mjb41@le.ac.uk], Department of Geography, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester, LEI 7RU

A New Tool for Economic Growth: Role of Innovation in the Transformation and Regional Development of Hungary

Zoltan Gal

Geographia Polonica (2005) vol. 78, iss. 2, pp. 31-52 | Full text

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The paper is concerned with the role of innovation during the transition period. It presents indicators of the national innovation system and spatial impact of the economic trans-formation on research and development. While in the early transition years, spatial differences were largely determined by FDI in manufacturing, the new directions of innovation have recently become the main driving force that differentiates economic space. Preconditions for the innova-tion-led development are to a large extent jeopardized by the shallower innovation potential of the regions and the dominant role of Budapest. The final section deals with the regional policy implications, discussing the innovation-oriented regional policy approach.

Keywords: economic transformation, national innovation system, R&D, geographical disparities, regional innovation policy.

Zoltan Gal, Centre for Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, University of Kaposvâr PO.BOX 199, 7601 Pecs, HUNGARY

The Poverty Problem in Rural Romania

David Turnock

Geographia Polonica (2005) vol. 78, iss. 2, pp. 53-76 | Full text

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A serious poverty problem arises from the fall in salaried employment combined with low wages and an inadequate social security system. But the situation is particularly difficult in rural ar-eas because the commuting workforce was laid-off disproportionately and while land restitution has provided smallholdings for most rural dwellers, coping strategies that focus quite narrowly on sub-sistence farming are unable to generate capital to launch new businesses. Since foreign investment goes almost entirely the larger towns, rural development is heavily dependent on programmes to improve infrastructure and encourage diversification. Although there are sharp regional contrasts, considerable progress has been made in identifying the problem areas.

Keywords: land restitution, poverty, Romania, rural areas, smallholdings, social security, subsist-ence farming, unemployment

David Turnock, Geography Department, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester LEI 7RH,

Is the Donetsk Model Sustainable?

Hans Van Zon

Geographia Polonica (2005) vol. 78, iss. 2, pp. 77-90 | Full text

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The regional economy and polity of Donetsk is monopolized by a coherent group of financial-industrial groupings. These groupings operate in the context of a neo-patrimonial polity in which clan loyalty is more important than formal rules. The dynamics of clan politics provides the key to understanding the social and economic predicament of Donetsk, while the 'virtual economy' approach and the model of 'partial reform equilibrium' are not very helpful in explaining the economic development of Donetsk. The question of the economic and social sustainability of the 'Donetsk model' is addressed.

Keywords: Ukraine, transition economies, regional economics, clan politics

Hans Van Zon, University of Sunderland Edinburgh Building Chester Road Sunderland, SR 1 3SD, United Kingdom

Trends to Regional Disparities in the Czech Republic in Pre-Accession Period in the European Context

Jiri Błażek

Geographia Polonica (2005) vol. 78, iss. 2, pp. 91-106 | Full text

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The article identifies the main factors and trends to regional development in the Czech Republic during the pre-accession period. The scale of regional disparities within the Czech Re-public is compared with those of other EU countries. The paper starts with a brief elaboration of the basic trends to regional development since the collapse of communism, then proceeds to an identification of the main factors underpinning regional development, an analysis of basic trends to regional disparities, an examination of regional disparities in the European context and an outlining of likely trends to future regional development.

Keywords: regional disparities, factors of regional development, unemployment, wages, foreign investments, location of headquarters of largest firms

Jiri Błażek, Department of Social Geography and Regional Development, Faculty of Science, Charles University in Prague, Albertov 6, 128 43 PRAHA 2, Czech Republic,

The Economic Performance and Standard of Living of Post- Communist European Countries Since 1989: Factors and Processes Behind

Bolesław Domański

Geographia Polonica (2005) vol. 78, iss. 2, pp. 107-126 | Full text

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Abstract:

A statistical analysis shows that, since 1989, the economies of post-communist countries in Central Europe have experienced a narrowing of the gap as regards competitiveness and stan-dard of living in comparison with the EU-15. This is in contrast to many post-Soviet and Balkan countries. These divergent trends may be accounted for by reference to early economic reforms, political stability and the old cultural divide in Europe. It is argued that foreign migrations and public attitudes to change have also been important. On the whole, the initial level of economic development has been less significant as a factor than local social and political conditions, both pre-communist and early post-communist ones.

Keywords: post-communism, transition, development, economic performance, Central and East-ern Europe

Book review

Handbook of Sustainable Development Planning. Studies in Modelling and Decision Support edited by M. A. Quaddus and M. A.B. Siddique, Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd., Glenseanda House, Cheltenham Glos, UK; Northampton, MA, USA, 2004, 360 pp

Mirosław Grochowski

Geographia Polonica (2005) vol. 78, iss. 2, pp. 127-130 | Full text

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Mirosław Grochowski [m.grochowski@uw.edu.pl], Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization Polish Academy of Sciences Twarda 51/55, 00-818 Warsaw: Poland