Exploring the transformation of state socialism through a comparative study of the reform experiences of China and Hungary, this book focuses on the relationship between economic and political change. Despite following parallel paths through much of the reform period, China and Hungary diverged drastically in 1989, when Hungary installed a democratic political system while China used brutal military force to suppress political dissent. After tracing common political, economic, and ideological dimensions, Yanqi Tong explains the dramatically different outcomes in the two countries. She identifies key differences in the social costs of economic reform, the international setting, strategies pursued by the establishment and its opponents, and the coalitions formed by political elites. Tong also argues that developments since 1989 demonstrate that the end of conventional state socialism has guaranteed neither stability, democracy, nor prosperity as powerful legacies from both the communist and reform eras thwart the development of healthy political and economic systems.