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.
economy, while avoiding political democratisation. 2 In this chapter I aim
to examine the evolution of Czechoslovak perestroika, specifically how the
discourse of socio-economicreforms gradually undermined the rhetoric
and self-perception of the regime and facilitated its ultimate collapse.
Despite the dissimilarities between the two countries, economic critiques
of state socialism and of everyday scarcities and inefficiencies played a
crucial role in discrediting and delegitimising the existing system. The
Czechoslovak economy was among the most advanced in the
domination of Labour’s and the wider
political agenda by the politics of the Cold War meant that for most of the period under
review the ALP was unable to draw sufficient national attention to
its historiographically somewhat neglected proposed programme of socio-economicreforms in
the pre-Whitlam years. Had it been able to do so, then its chances of electoral success
would have improved markedly. Only when the suffocating politics of the Cold War began to
wane from the later 1960s onwards was Labor, in the form of Gough
the peasant body can
therefore be seen as one element of his broader agenda of promoting Irish
socio-economicreform and development. Both of these examples reveal that
physiological ideas were amenable to contemporary political and economic
thought that dismissively targeted the unregulated Irish body as a physical site
in need of urgent improvement.
As a tool, however, digestive physiology was less useful for suggesting which
foodstuffs might replace the potato should the elusive goal of dietary transformation ever be effected. Nonetheless, new forms of
of Riddell’s work.
In particular, it considers her relationship to the Irish national tale genre,
established in the early nineteenth century. Furthermore, it outlines Riddell’s
engagement with the tension between ‘improving’ economic rationalisation
and supposedly pre-capitalist modes of landlordism as presented by earlier
writers such as Maria Edgeworth and Charles Lever and raised anew by
Gladstonian reform. It establishes the discourse between rationalist visions
of human perfectibility through socio-economicreform and the traditional
evangelical view that
, and trade unions closely linked to them, were often behind important and popular socio-economicreform initiatives in Finland, today they mainly focus on defending the status quo, with the initiatives coming from the centre right parties or business interests. The current economic climate, including the accumulation of high levels of national public debt and the associated need to cut public expenditure, is far from ideal for advocating traditional left-wing policies and this situation is unlikely to change in the next few years or at least not before the next
served as disciplinary rhetorical tools, while
at the same time also creating a sense of insiderhood and togetherness between
Temporalities of austerity
the trainers and their audiences. When Aina said that children ‘abroad’ set goals
already in early grades at school, she was invoking a fantasy of the ‘Imaginary
West’ (Yurchak 2006). During the Soviet times, it had been the ‘Other’ to daydream about. After 1991, ‘the West’ was equated with ‘normalcy’, and the political and socio-economicreforms were meant to return Latvia, just like the other
choice-sensitive, since those
with greater aversions to risk could then freely purchase more cover. Dworkin
believes that the hypothetical insurance model can be applied in many other
cases, though he has not spelled out the precise implications for all such cases.
He does argue, though, that in terms of socio-economicreforms more broadly,
reasonable individuals in the auction would opt for moderate welfare provision
and the guarantee of a basic minimum (2000: 334–8).
It is interesting to note that what Dworkin actually recommends is very close
to the present scheme
Immigration, welfare and housing in Britain and France, 1945–1974
Jim House and Andrew S. Thompson
integrated within De Gaulle’s ambitious Constantine Plan for
socio-economicreform for Algerians, and the FAS was to help by
‘tear[ing] the workforce of Algerian origin away from the
destitution of the shanty-towns’. 29
In fact, shanty-towns had increased in France since the
early 1950s. No one housing form better symbolised the tensions between
colonial rhetoric and Algerians’ lived experience. Officials
party’s dreadful performance in the 1966 election.
Labor failed, therefore, to present itself as a consistent, united and
unqualified opponent of communism. The Right was quick to exploit these facts.
Anti-communism, rather than the ALP ’s appeals to progressive
independent nationalism and socio-economicreform, became the critical touchstone of
Yet the politics of Cold War loyalism and the divisions they engendered
constituted a large, rather than the complete, part of the explanation for the