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From Communism to Pluralism

This book reassesses a defining historical, political and ideological moment in contemporary history: the 1989 revolutions in central and eastern Europe. It considers the origins, processes and outcomes of the collapse of communism in eastern Europe. The book argues that communism was not simply an 'unnatural Yoke' around the necks of East Europeans, but was a powerful, and not entirely negative, historical force capable of modernizing societies, cultures and economies. It focuses on the interplay between internal and external developments as opposed to an emphasis on Cold War geopolitical power struggles and the triumphalist rhetoric of how the 'freedom-loving' USA 'defeated' the 'totalitarian' Soviet Union. The book also approaches the East European revolutions from a variety of angles, emphasizing generational conflicts, socio-economic and domestic aspects, international features, the 'Gorbachev factor', and the role of peace movements or discourses on revolution. It analyses the peace movements in both parts of Germany during the 1980s from a perspective that transcends the ideological and geopolitical divides of the Cold War. The history of the East German peace movement has mostly been written from the perspective of German unification in 1989-1990. Many historians have read the history of the civil rights movement of 1989-1990 backwards in order to show its importance, or ignored it altogether to highlight the totalitarian character of the German Democratic Republic.

Paul G. Lewis

10 Central and eastern Europe paul g. lewis The passage of over ten years since the first fully competitive elections should have succeeded in putting the progress of democratization in post-communist Europe into clear perspective. By now we might expect to have a reasonably firm comprehension of how far democratization has proceeded, why – if its achievements are differentiated – it has gone further in some countries than others, and which events and processes have driven democratic change. The looking-glass of democratization studies should in this sense have

in Democratization through the looking-glass
Origins, processes, outcomes
Kevin McDermott and Matthew Stibbe

1 The collapse of communism in Eastern Europe: origins, processes, outcomes Kevin McDermott and Matthew Stibbe The 1989 revolutions in Central and Eastern Europe The collapse of communism in Eastern Europe ‘People think of history in the long term’, comments the narrator Nathan Zuckerman in Philip Roth’s novel American Pastoral, ‘but history, in fact, is a very sudden thing’.1 While Roth was referring to the social upheavals in the USA in the late 1960s and early 1970s and their impact on the town of Newark, New Jersey, when he wrote this, it might equally

in The 1989 Revolutions in Central and Eastern Europe
The defense policies of new NATO and EU member states

This book blends analysis of Eastern European security needs, foreign threats, domestic political events, and public opinion, in theoretical ways to understand how they lead to future defense postures and commitments for each country in the region. How has NATO and EU membership improved their overall regional defense protection, and what ingredients are still missing for them on an individual state basis? Separate chapters treat clusters of states that make up the various regions of Eastern Europe. For example, the three threatened Baltic states in the north will receive careful analysis. Second, the complex array of states in the Balkan area of Southeastern Europe merit examination, for their security conditions have been quite varied and diverse. For some, NATO and EU membership has become a reality, and for others that possibility does not yet exist. Third, three of the four geographically central states were the ones that first gained full membership in NATO at the earliest possible moment in 1999. At present, Poland in the north has perceived clear threats from Russia since 2014, while the three other East-Central European states possess greater sense of security.

Michael Baun

For a book on collective security in Eastern Europe, it makes perfect sense that the primary focus should be on NATO and matters of military defense, or hard security. It is also necessary to consider, however, the security role of the EU, to which many of the states of this region belong, and most of those who do not would like to. This despite the fact that the EU at present, and

in Defending Eastern Europe
Jacek Lubecki

This chapter will center on the experience of the Eastern European states in the period preceding the fall of communist rule during the four decades of the Cold War (1948–89). Because communism, especially “late” communism, represents the immediate background to the countries’ current military and defense policies, it is important to discuss this period in some detail. As

in Defending Eastern Europe
Zuzana Jezerska

THE COUNTRIES OF CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE 8 Gender awareness and the national machineries in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe zuzana jezerska Introduction: the basic problem of identification and terminology The countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) saw fundamental changes to their political and social systems towards the end of the twentieth century. The processes of change affected most aspects of the social and political lives of the citizens of these countries. However, men and women experienced differently the burdens and gains of

in Mainstreaming gender, democratizing the state?
Author: Amy Bryzgel

This book represents the first attempt to write a comprehensive account of performance art in Eastern Europe - the former communist, socialist and Soviet countries of Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe - since the 1960s. It demonstrates performance art, which encompasses a range of genres, among them body art, happenings, actions and performance. In exploring the manifestations and meanings of performance art, the book highlights the diversity of artistic practice, moments and ways in which performance emerged, and its relationship to each country's sociopolitical climate. The book discusses 21 countries and over 250 artists, exploring the manner in which performance art developed concurrently with the genre in the West. It examines how artists used their bodies in performance to navigate the degrees of state control over artistic production and cultivate personalised forms of individual integration and self-expression of body, gender, politics, identity, and institutional critique. A comparative analysis of examples of performance art addressing gender-related issues from across the socialist and post-socialist East is then presented. The themes addressed provide local cultural and historical references in works concerning beauty, women's sexuality and traditional notions of gender. Artists' efforts to cope with the communist environment, the period of transition and the complexities of life in the post-communist era are highlighted. Artists during the communist period adopted performance art as a free-form, open-ended means of expression to give voice to concepts, relationships and actions that otherwise would not have been possible in the official realm of art.

James L. Newell

9 Political corruption in Central and Eastern Europe Introduction There is likely to be something distinctive about corruption in the postcommunist states of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and the former Soviet Union. Political scientists have conventionally made a distinction between advanced liberal democracies, the so-called second world of communist and post-communist states, and third-world countries. These categories (especially the ‘third world’ category) are used less frequently than was once the case; but they, or similar categories, are distinguished

in Corruption in contemporary politics
Biting into the Global Myth
Svitlana Krys

This article discusses the manner in which the vampire fiction of contemporary Ukrainian author Halyna Pahutiak enters into a dialogue with the global vampire discourse whose core or ‘cultural capital’ finds its origins largely in Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula (1897). Through discussion of thematic, stylistic, and structural similarities and differences between Pahutiak and Stoker’s portrayals of the vampire myth, my paper sheds light on the conscious mythmaking strategies that Pahutiak employs to return the vampire symbolically from the West to Eastern Europe where it originated, and reassess the core characteristics of the Dracula myth.

Gothic Studies