July, 2021

The Comparative Assessment of Communist and Post-Communist System Performance and Human Wellbeing

Challenges and Insights from In-depth Case Study Approaches
  • Paul Dragos Aligica

    Senior Fellow, F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
  • Vlad Tarko

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The existing evidence suggests that life in post-communism should be considered an improvement over life under communism. It is not only a matter of individual liberty, but also of economic performance and wellbeing, of basic patterns of consumption, welfare, and quality of life. Yet, despite this, opinion polls also reveal surprising nostalgia for communism. This chapter takes a closer look at the conditions, factors, and characteristics of such judgments in order to further our understanding of the communist experiment and its aftermath. Such investigations also have a broader relevance for deciding which key criteria to use for the comparative evaluation.