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Initial excitement in the West over the reform of Soviet communism under Gorbachev and then euphoria over the disintegration of the USSR have now been replaced by concern, controversy, and sometimes despair over prospects for democracy and a marlcet economy in the countries of the former Soviet Union. Despair is reflected in the popular joke that the transition from a communist centrally planned economy to a capitalist market economy is like the transition from fiSh soup. to an aquarium. Only time will tell if the aquarium analogy holds water. Meanwhile, as policy makers in Russia and elsewhere in the former Soviet Union grapple with strategies, tactics, and details, scholars and policy advisors continue to debate questions of sequence, timing, and appropriate models.