(In the former Soviet Union) the policy or practice of restructuring or reforming the economic and political system. First proposed by Leonid Brezhnev in 1979 and actively promoted by Mikhail Gorbachev, perestroika originally referred to increased automation and labour efficiency, but came to entail greater awareness of economic markets and the ending of central planning. See also glasnost.
- In the 1990s there were massive sums to be made as the economic reforms of perestroika kicked in and markets were liberalised.
- Glasnost and perestroika in the Soviet Union kicked off a debate about restructuring society in East Germany, too.
- Both glasnost and perestroika appeared to be sweeping the whole of Eastern Europe in the direction of global capitalism, or at least towards an opening to the practices of capitalist globalization.
Russian, literally 'restructuring'.
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