Contemporary theory in political science and economics increasingly emphasizes the role of institutions. In Central Europe and the former Soviet Union, meanwhile, institutions have seen an unprecedented degree of experimentation, reform and variation since 1989. This course will integrate recent theoretical developments with contemporary case studies. Emphasis will be on the political and economic consequences of the choice of institutions, and the politics of institutional design. The course will focus on five topics: central planning, simultaneous political and economic transitions, macroeconomic stabilization, privatization and property rights, and the politics of regulation.