Robin Okey
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Echoes and precedents
1989 in historical perspective
in The 1989 Revolutions in Central and Eastern Europe
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The East European revolutions of 1989 offer a host of possibilities for enquiry. It describes the whole process of supersession of communist power in East Europe. As with communism, absolutist monarchy presented itself as a monist system of theory and practice and had never been displaced by popular revolution. Authoritarian modernisation was actually budding in South Korea and Singapore; communist economies were beginning their descent to the trough of the 1980s. Mikhail Gorbachev in particular represented the long-standing 'westernising' pro-European tendency in Russian history ostensibly held by Soviet communism. Communist industrialisation, had undermined the social forces which helped confound liberal revolutionaries in 1848-1849 and parliamentary democracy between the wars. The events of 1989 directly brought about the reunification of Germany, which helped precipitate the fall of Soviet Union. It led eventually to the incorporation of most of our region in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and the European Union.

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