Chicago Journal of International Law


Three great economic shifts have shaken the world in the last thirty or forty years. The Soviet Union, the torch-bearer of socialism, after engaging in an inner-generated perestroika (reconstruction), increasingly veered toward a stronger role for the market until it moved to full-blown capitalism. At about the same time, China, another beacon of socialism, also moved inexorably toward a socialist market economy and eventually to a virtually capitalist approach. But the Soviet Union, now fragmented, with the Russian Republic its remaining flagship, moved politically toward an imperfect democracy and suffered a painful economic decline. Meanwhile, China retained the authoritarian rule of the Communist Party in full control and its reaction to the change was surprisingly favorable with spectacular growth and remarkable prospects. And while these profound transitions rocked the socialist powers, the US, the capitalist titan, together with the whole capitalist world, suffered its own slide into sudden recession with severe hardship, unemployment and exploding fiscal deficits. This Article explores the ramifications and relationship involved in these various and contrasting developments.