Gianaris examines the theoretical and practical aspects of different economic systems in countries with varying ideologies. These include the United States, the European Community, and Japan with their capitalist or free market economies; the Swedish welfare state; communist China; and the former Soviet republics and Eastern Europe with their movement toward free markets and democratization. This interplay of economics and politics seen in the world arena presents new problems of production and distribution, as well as new rules and institutions. This work analyzes the dramatic developments now underway in many parts of the world and outlines a trend toward economic and political synthesis or convergence. This work will be of interest to scholars and students of comparative economic systems, political economy, comparative politics, and international economic relations.