A key aspects of the radical structural political and economic changes after 1989 are interlinked with a profound transformation of the rural environment.Pointing out strategies for survival adopted by agricultural farms as the dominant type of agricultural institutions in former Czechoslovakia, the writer attempts to show the relation between changes carried out at the national level and those at the local one. She analyses differences in transformational processes of 'neo-collectivist' farms and their conversion into co-operative farms of landowners or share-holders. She also attempts to describe different levels of adaptability to the free-markets laws and new economic mechanisms enabling application of more autonomous operations and more diversified economic procedures in order to gain profit and accumulate capital. Furthermore, she identifies factors predetermining and influencing the future of co-operative farms in terms of becoming prosperous, or preserving the status quo or going bankrupt. She relies on the results of case studies carried out in six different co-operatives in south-west and west Slovakia. According to the authoress, the process of decollectivisation in Slovakia - in case it may be called decollectivisation at all -- is rather a kind of reshaping collective forms of entrepreneurial activities. This development is not easy and straightforward. The economic effectiveness of transformation and moral and symbolic effects of the new system of ownership have deeply influenced social relations not only within the co-operatives but also in the rural community as a whole.In general, the economic climate does not very much favour the agricultural sector and farmers, including those in co-operative farms. However, despite their hard situation, they more or less successfully direct the transformation processes. In the background to the post-socialist transformation processes there is, next to many regional and local varieties of natural conditions, also the historical 'heritage' of pre-socialist rural economy. This seems to be the reason why 'neo-collectivist' farms, although they exist in the same region, enter the transformation processes from different starting points and why they try to solve the transition to market economy applying a kind of hybrid procedure, combining the new - profit and capital making models with the old ones inherited from the pre-socialist and socialist collectivist systems. Thus, the differentiated strategies may lead to successful or average or negative results in dependence on professional and organisational skills as well as on adaptability and ethic qualities of managers and professionals heading the farms.
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