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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.

A socio-economic perspective
Michal Pullmann

economy, while avoiding political democratisation. 2 In this chapter I aim to examine the evolution of Czechoslovak perestroika, specifically how the discourse of socio-economic reforms 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

in The 1989 Revolutions in Central and Eastern Europe
Abstract only
Neville Kirk

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-economic reforms 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

in Labour and the politics of Empire
Nutritional discourse and dietary transformation
Ian Miller

the peasant body can therefore be seen as one element of his broader agenda of promoting Irish socio-economic reform 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

in Reforming food in post-Famine Ireland
Patrick Maume

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-economic reform and the traditional evangelical view that

in Irish women’s writing, 1878–1922
The left and the euro crisis in Finland
Tapio Raunio

, and trade unions closely linked to them, were often behind important and popular socio-economic reform 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

in The European left and the financial crisis
Liene Ozoliņa

served as disciplinary rhetorical tools, while at the same time also creating a sense of insiderhood and togetherness between 51 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-economic reforms were meant to return Latvia, just like the other post

in Politics of waiting
Dworkin on the insurance market
Chris Armstrong

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-economic reforms 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

in Rethinking Equality
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-economic reform 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

in Writing imperial histories
Abstract only
Neville Kirk

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-economic reform, became the critical touchstone of patriotism. 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

in Labour and the politics of Empire