The transition from socialism in Eastern Europe is not an isolated event, but part of a larger shift in world capitalism: the transition from Fordism to flexible (or neoliberal) capitalism. Using a blend of ethnography and economic geography, Elizabeth C. Dunn shows how management technologies like niche marketing, accounting, audit, and standardization make up flexible capitalism's unique form of labor discipline. This new form of management constitutes some workers as self-auditing, self-regulating actors who are disembedded from a social context while defining others as too entwined in social relations and unable to self-manage.
Privatizing Poland examines the effects privatization has on workers' self-concepts; how changes in "personhood" relate to economic and political transitions; and how globalization and foreign capital investment affect Eastern Europe's integration into the world economy. Dunn investigates these topics through a study of workers and changing management techniques at the Alima-Gerber factory in Rzeszów, Poland, formerly a state-owned enterprise, which was privatized by the Gerber Products Company of Fremont, Michigan.
Privatizing Poland is the winner of both the 2005 Ed A. Hewett Prize for the study of the political economy of Russia, East Europe or Eurasia, and the 2005 Orbis Book Prize (now the Kulczycki Prize) in Polish Studies.