In 1989, from East Berlin to Budapest and Bucharest to Moscow, communism was falling. The walls were coming down and the world was being changed in ways that seemed entirely new. The conflict of ideas and ideals that began with the French Revolution of 1789 culminated in these revolutions, which raised the prospects of the "return to Europe" of East and Central European nations, the "restarting of their history," even, for some, the "end of history." What such assertions and aspirations meant, and what the larger events that inspired them mean-not just for the world of history and politics, but for our very understanding of that world-are the questions Krishan Kumar explores in 1989.
A well-known and widely respected scholar, Kumar places these revolutions of 1989 in the broadest framework of political and social thought, helping us see how certain ideas, traditions, and ideological developments influenced or accompanied these movements-and how they might continue to play out. Asking questions about some of the central dilemmas facing modern society in the new century, Kumar offers critical insight into how these questions might be answered and how political, social, and historical ideas and ideals can shape our destiny.
Contradictions Series, volume 12
Stanislaw Baranczak, a Polish writer in exile, turns to his colleagues and their plights, in Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and the Soviet Union, to explain why oppressive regimes could not succeed in their attempts to transform the Eastern European into Homo sovieticus.These superb essays focus on the role that culture, and particularly literature, has played in keeping the spirit of intellectual independence alive in Eastern and Central Europe. Exploring a variety of issues from censorship to underground poetry, Baranczak shows why, in societies where people struggle to survive under totalitarian rule, art is believed to have the power to make things happen.He brings into sharp relief the works and personalities of many legendary figures of recent Eastern European political and cultural history from Lech Walesa and Pope John Paul II to Václav Havel and Adam Michnik to Czeslaw Milosz, Witold Gombrowicz, Bruno Schulz, and Joseph Brodsky--and makes vivid the context from which they spring. Some of the essays probe the sense of inarticulateness experienced by writers in exile; many represent the literary essay at its best; all reveal that Baranczak is a sophisticated, often savagely funny writer on whom nothing is lost.This refreshing and provocative book guides us toward a clearer understanding of what has led to the present moment, in which the nations of Eastern and Central Europe, tired of striving to "breathe under water," are finally "coming up for air." It is rewarding reading for anyone interested in art's confrontation with an intractable political reality--wherever it occurs in the world.
The former Communist countries of Eastern Europe provide a treasure-trove of data on the development of democratic institutions. The contributors to this volume use the recent experiences of these countries to identify how the various committee systems are structured and tie the relative strength of the committee system in each country to the relative strength of its legislature. A uniform theoretical framework connects the work of each essay and ties the parts into an informative whole.
Comparative analysis based on seven indicators of institutionalization suggests that the committee systems of Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic are more institutionalized than those found elsewhere. Bulgaria is a middle case, while the parliaments of Moldova, Lithuania, and Estonia are the least. Of the indicators, stability in committee membership and extent of committee activity are among the most important for post-communist parliaments in their first decade.
This examination of legislative committees in their beginning stages suggests that the processes of institutionalization are sequenced: expertise in a policy sector is the basis of both the assertion of jurisdictional autonomy by committees and the motive for party control of their membership and officer positions. Basic to these developments, however, is the emergence of a stable and consistent structure of the committee system as a whole. More broadly, committee attributes are closely linked to the condition and functioning of both parliamentary party groups and the government.
A Continent Moving West? argues that the conceptualization of migration as a one-way or long-term process is becoming increasingly wide of the mark. Rather, east-west labor migration in Europe, in common perhaps with other flows in and from other parts of the world, is diverse, fluid, and influenced by the dynamics of local and sector-specific labor markets and migration-related political regulations.
The papers in this book contribute to critical understanding of the east-west migration within the European Union after the 2004 enlargement, from the new to the old member states.
Contributors. Geoff Eley, Konrad Jarausch, Herbert Kitschelt, Christiane Lemke, Andrei Markovits, Gary Marks, Wolfgang Merkel, Norman Naimark, Iván and Szonja Szelénya, Sharon Wolchik
Ice-Age Eastern Europe was an inhospitable place, isolated from the moderating influence of oceans. Unlike Western Europe, which was settled over half a million years ago, Eastern Europe remained largely unoccupied until the appearance of the cold-adapted Neanderthals. When modern humans arrived from southern latitudes, they were anatomically less suited to colder climates, but successfully colonized Eastern Europe with the aid of innovative technologies that their Neanderthal predecessors lacked.
John F. Hoffecker provides an overview of Pleistocene or Ice-Age settlement in Eastern Europe with a heavy focus on the adaptations of Neanderthals and modern humans to this harsh environmental setting. Hoffecker argues that the Eastern European record reveals a stark contrast between Neanderthals and modern humans with respect to technology and social organization, both of which are tied to the development of language and the use of symbols. Desolate Landscapes will bring readers up to date with the rich archaeological record in this significant region and its contribution to our understanding of one of our most important events in human evolution - the rise of modern humans and the extinction of the Neanderthals.
The book is divided into seven chapters. The first discusses general anthropological principles and theories pertaining to human adaptation and development in cold environments. The second outlines the environmental conditions of the specific area under study in the book.
The next two chapters focus on Neanderthal finds in the area. The following two chapters discuss the replacement of the local Neanderthal population by the Cro-magnons, and the development of their way of life in the cold Loess Steppe environment. The final chapter summarizes the discussion and is followed by an extremely valuable and extensive bibliography, more than half of which consists of non-English (primarily Russian) sources.
The first book in English to blend history and archaeology for a period of history currently receiving much scholarly attention, East Central and Eastern Europe in the Early Middle Ages examines key problems of the early medieval history of Eastern Europe, with particular reference to society, state, and the conversion to Christianity, and the diverse ways in which these aspects have been approached in the historiography of the region. The included essays examine the documentary and archaeological evidence of early medieval Europe in an attempt to assess its importance in understanding the construction of cultural identity and the process of political mobilization for the rise of the states. The book addresses an audience of historians, archaeologists, anthropologists, and linguists with an interest in the history of Eastern Europe.
The contributions to this volume reflect the recent research on this issue by various specialists on the economies of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Each author emphasizes macroeconomic stabilization, structural adjustment, participation in the larger world economy, or ecomonic reform.
In Fieldwork Dilemmas ten anthropologists disclose the political and physical dangers inherent in field research. Focusing on former socialist states, they vividly depict the upheavals of everyday life in eastern Euorpe, revealing how their informants and the communities in which they live undergo political and economic dislocations, plummeting living standards, emerging gender inequalities, and ethnic and nationalist violence.
Reports from Armenia, Bulgaria, eastern Germany, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Russia, Serbia, and Uzbekistan show how fieldworkers struggle to reconcile previous experiences with postsocialist stereotypes about Soviet culture, the West, and the effects of the penetration of capitalism into noncapitalist societies. These fieldwork dilemmas are analyzed by anthropologists who are learning to position themselves professionally and personally in the field under often unstable, unpredictable situations. This volume will interest not only anthropologists but fieldworkers of all kinds, and not only scholars of eastern Europe but all those who study rapid societal changes.
The 1989-91 upheavals in Eastern Europe sparked a turbulent process of social and economic transition. Two decades on, with the global economic crisis of 2008-10, a new phase has begun.
This book explores the scale and trajectory of the crisis through case studies of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Russia, Ukraine and the former Yugoslavia. The contributors focus upon the relationships between geopolitics, the world economy and class restructuring.
The book covers the changing relationship between business and states; foreign capital flows; financialisation and asset price bubbles; austerity and privatisation; and societal responses, in the form of reactionary populism and progressive social movements.
Challenging neoliberal interpretations that envisage the transition as a process of unfolding liberty, the dialectic charted in these pages reveals uneven development, attenuated freedoms and social polarisation.
Recasting the birth of fascism, nationalism, and the fall of empire after World War I, Dominique Kirchner Reill recounts how the people of Fiume tried to recreate empire in the guise of the nation.The Fiume Crisis recasts what we know about the birth of fascism, the rise of nationalism, and the fall of empire after World War I by telling the story of the three-year period when the Adriatic city of Fiume (today Rijeka, in Croatia) generated an international crisis.In 1919 the multicultural former Habsburg city was occupied by the paramilitary forces of the flamboyant poet-soldier Gabriele D’Annunzio, who aimed to annex the territory to Italy and became an inspiration to Mussolini. Many local Italians supported the effort, nurturing a standard tale of nationalist fanaticism. However, Dominique Kirchner Reill shows that practical realities, not nationalist ideals, were in the driver’s seat. Support for annexation was largely a result of the daily frustrations of life in a “ghost state” set adrift by the fall of the empire. D’Annunzio’s ideology and proto-fascist charisma notwithstanding, what the people of Fiume wanted was prosperity, which they associated with the autonomy they had enjoyed under Habsburg sovereignty. In these twilight years between the world that was and the world that would be, many across the former empire sought to restore the familiar forms of governance that once supported them. To the extent that they turned to nation-states, it was not out of zeal for nationalist self-determination but in the hope that these states would restore the benefits of cosmopolitan empire.Against the too-smooth narrative of postwar nationalism, The Fiume Crisis demonstrates the endurance of the imperial imagination and carves out an essential place for history from below.
This volume presents work from an international group of writers who explore conceptualizations of what defined “East” and “West” in Eastern Europe, imperial Russia, and the Soviet Union. The contributors analyze the effects of transnational interactions on ideology, politics, and cultural production. They reveal that the roots of an East/West cultural divide were present many years prior to the rise of socialism and the cold war.
The chapters offer insights into the complex stages of adoption and rejection of Western ideals in areas such as architecture, travel writings, film, music, health care, consumer products, political propaganda, and human rights. They describe a process of mental mapping whereby individuals “captured and possessed” Western identity through cultural encounters and developed their own interpretations from these experiences. Despite these imaginaries, political and intellectual elites devised responses of resistance, defiance, and counterattack to defy Western impositions.
Socialists believed that their cultural forms and collectivist strategies offered morally and materially better lives for the masses and the true path to a modern society. Their sentiments toward the West, however, fluctuated between superiority and inferiority. But in material terms, Western products, industry, and technology, became the ever-present yardstick by which progress was measured. The contributors conclude that the commodification of the necessities of modern life and the rise of consumerism in the twentieth century made it impossible for communist states to meet the demands of their citizens. The West eventually won the battle of supply and demand, and thus the battle for cultural influence.
By the mid-twentieth century, Eastern European Jews had become one of Argentina's largest minorities. Some represented a wave of immigration begun two generations before; many settled in the province of Entre Ríos and founded an agricultural colony. Taking its title from the resulting hybrid of acculturation, The Invention of the Jewish Gaucho examines the lives of these settlers, who represented a merger between native cowboy identities and homeland memories.
The arrival of these immigrants in what would be the village of Villa Clara coincided with the nation's new sense of liberated nationhood. In a meticulous rendition of Villa Clara's social history, Judith Freidenberg interweaves ethnographic and historical information to understand the saga of European immigrants drawn by Argentine open-door policies in the nineteenth century and its impact on the current transformation of immigration into multicultural discourses in the twenty-first century. Using Villa Clara as a case study, Freidenberg demonstrates the broad power of political processes in the construction of ethnic, class, and national identities. The Invention of the Jewish Gaucho draws on life histories, archives, material culture, and performances of heritage to enhance our understanding of a singular population—and to transform our approach to social memory itself.
In this groundbreaking study, The Language of Political Incorporation, Amy Liu focuses on Chinese migrants in Central-Eastern Europe and their varying levels of political incorporation in the local community. She examines the linguistic diversity of migrant networks, finding institutional trust and civic engagement depend not on national identity, but on the network’s linguistic diversity—namely, whether the operating language is a migrant’s mother tongue or a lingua franca.
The Language of Political Incorporation uses original survey data to assess when the Chinese engage positively with the authorities and when they become civic minded. The results are surprising. In Hungary, the Chinese community has experienced high levels of political incorporation in part because they have not been targeted by anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies. In contrast, migrants in Romania sought the assistance of the Chinese embassy to fight an effort to collect back taxes.
Liu also compares the Chinese experiences in Central-Eastern Europe with those of Muslims in the region, as well as how the Chinese are treated in Western Europe. Additionally, she considers how the local communities perceive the Chinese. The Language of Political Incorporation concludes by offering best practices for how governments can help migrants become more trusting of—and have greater involvement with—locals in their host countries. Ultimately, Liu demonstrates the importance of linguistic networks for the incorporation of immigrants.
Contributors. Edward Allworth, Hans Bräker, Marie Broxup, Georg Brunner, Bert G. Fragner, Uwe Halbach, Wolfgang Höpken, Andreas Kappeler, Edward J. Lazzerini, Richard Lorenz, Alexandre Popovi´c, Sabrina Petra Ramet, Azade-Ayse Rorlich, Gerhard Simon, Tadeusz Swietochowski
NATO’s 2010 Strategic Concept officially broadened the alliance’s mission beyond collective defense, reflecting a peaceful Europe and changes in alliance activities. NATO had become an international security facilitator, a crisis-manager even outside Europe, and a liberal democratic club as much as a mutual-defense organization. However, Russia’s re-entry into great power politics has changed NATO’s strategic calculus.
Russia’s aggressive annexation of Crimea in 2014 and its ongoing military support for Ukrainian separatists dramatically altered the strategic environment and called into question the liberal European security order. States bordering Russia, many of which are now NATO members, are worried, and the alliance is divided over assessments of Russia’s behavior. Against the backdrop of Russia’s new assertiveness, an international group of scholars examines a broad range of issues in the interest of not only explaining recent alliance developments but also making recommendations about critical choices confronting the NATO allies. While a renewed emphasis on collective defense is clearly a priority, this volume’s contributors caution against an overcorrection, which would leave the alliance too inwardly focused, play into Russia’s hand, and exacerbate regional fault lines always just below the surface at NATO. This volume places rapid-fire events in theoretical perspective and will be useful to foreign policy students, scholars, and practitioners alike.
The rise of industrial capitalism in the nineteenth century forged a new ecological order in North American and Western European states, radically transforming the environment through science and technology in the name of human progress. Far less known are the dramatic environmental changes experienced by Eastern Europe, in many ways a terra incognita for environmental historians and anthropologists. A New Ecological Order explores, from a historical and ethnographic perspective, the role of state planners, bureaucrats, and experts—engineers, agricultural engineers, geographers, biologists, foresters, and architects—as agents of change in the natural world of Eastern Europe from 1870 to the early twenty-first century.
Contributors consider territories engulfed by empires, from the Habsburg to the Ottoman to tsarist Russia; territories belonging to disintegrating empires; and countries in the Balkan Peninsula, Central and Eastern Europe, and Eurasia. Together, they follow a rhetoric of “correcting nature,” a desire to exploit the natural environment and put its resources to work for the sake of developing the economies and infrastructures of modern states. They reveal an eagerness among newly established nation-states, after centuries of imperial economic and political impositions, to import scientific knowledge and new technologies from Western Europe that would aid in their economic development, and how those imports and ideas about nature ultimately shaped local projects and policies.
Much has been written about the workings of communist governments in the USSR and the Soviet bloc, yet there is still a great deal to explore regarding their relationship to the everyday lives of the citizens living under them. This third volume builds on the editors’ Style and Socialism and Socialist Spaces, showing how the rise of consumer culture took a unique form in these countries.
Essays from top scholars address topics ranging from fashion and game shows to smoking and camping. The authors of the essays in this collection investigate the ways in which pleasurable activities, like many other facets of daily life, were both a space in which these communist governments tried to insinuate themselves and thereby further expand the reach of their authority,
and also an opportunity for people to assert their individuality.
What does the durability of political institutions have to do with how actors form knowledge about them? Andreas Glaeser investigates this question in the context of a fascinating historical case: socialist East Germany’s unexpected self-dissolution in 1989. His analysis builds on extensive in-depth interviews with former secret police officers and the dissidents they tried to control as well as research into the documents both groups produced. In particular, Glaeser analyzes how these two opposing factions’ understanding of the socialist project came to change in response to countless everyday experiences. These investigations culminate in answers to two questions: why did the officers not defend socialism by force? And how was the formation of dissident understandings possible in a state that monopolized mass communication and group formation? He also explores why the Stasi, although always well informed about dissident activities, never developed a realistic understanding of the phenomenon of dissidence.
Out of this ambitious study, Glaeser extracts two distinct lines of thought. On the one hand he offers an epistemic account of socialism’s failure that differs markedly from existing explanations. On the other hand he develops a theory—a sociology of understanding—that shows us how knowledge can appear validated while it is at the same time completely misleading.
Contributors. Paul Bock, Lawrence Klippenstein, Paul Mojzes, Earl A. Pope, Joseph Pungur, Sabrina Petra Ramet, Walter Sawatsky, N. Gerald Shenk, Gerd Stricker, Sape A. Zylstra
Contributors. Michael Beckerman, Donna Buchanan, Anna Czekanowska, Judit Frigyesi, Barbara Rose Lange, Mirjana Lausevic, Theodore Levin, Margarita Mazo, Steluta Popa, Ljerka Vidic Rasmussen, Timothy Rice, Carol Silverman, Catherine Wanner
The Rise of Modern Yiddish Culture explores the transformation of Yiddish from a low-status vernacular to the medium of a complex modern culture. David Fishman examines the efforts of east European Jews to establish their linguistic distinctiveness as part of their struggle for national survival in the diaspora. Fishman considers the roots of modern Yiddish culture in social and political conditions in Imperial Tsarist and inter-war Poland, and its relationship to Zionism and Bundism. In so doing, Fishman argues that Yiddish culture enveloped all socioeconomic classes, not just the proletarian base, and considers the emergence, at the turn of the century, of a pro-Yiddish intelligentsia and a Yiddishist movement.
As Fishman points out, the rise of Yiddishism was not without controversy. Some believed that the rise of Yiddish represented a shift away from a religious-dominated culture to a completely secular, European one; a Jewish nation held together by language, rather than by land or religious content. Others hoped that Yiddish culture would inherit the moral and national values of the Jewish religious tradition, and that to achieve this result, the Bible and Midrash would need to exist in modern Yiddish translation. Modern Yiddish culture developed in the midst of these opposing concepts.
Fishman follows the rise of the culture to its apex, the founding of the Yiddish Scientific Institute (YIVO) in Vilna in 1925, and concludes with the dramatic story of the individual efforts that preserved the books and papers of YIVO during the destruction and annihilation of World War II and in postwar Soviet Lithuania. The Rise of Modern Yiddish Culture, like those efforts, preserves the cultural heritage of east European Jews with thorough research and fresh insights.
Drawing on data including surveys commissioned especially for this study, Holmes examines the causes and consequences of official corruption as well as ways of combating it. He focuses particular attention on the timing of the recent increase in reports of corruption, the relationship between post-communism and corruption, and the interplay between corruption and the delegitimation and weakening of the state. Holmes argues that the global turn toward neoliberalism—with its focus on ends over means, flexibility, and a reduced role for the state—has generated much of the corruption in post-communist states. At the same time, he points out that neoliberalism is perhaps the single most powerful tool for overcoming the communist legacy, which is an even more significant cause of corruption. Among the conclusions that Holmes draws is that a strong democratic state is needed in the early stages of the transition from communism in order to prevent corruption from taking hold.
In Yiddish, shtetl simply means “town.” How does such an unassuming word come to loom so large in modern Jewish culture, with a proliferation of uses and connotations? By examining the meaning of shtetl, Jeffrey Shandler asks how Jewish life in provincial towns in Eastern Europe has become the subject of extensive creativity, memory, and scholarship from the early modern era in European history to the present.
In the post-Holocaust era, the shtetl looms large in public culture as the epitome of a bygone traditional Jewish communal life. People now encounter the Jewish history of these towns through an array of cultural practices, including fiction, documentary photography, film, memoirs, art, heritage tourism, and political activism. At the same time, the shtetl attracts growing scholarly interest, as historians, social scientists, literary critics, and others seek to understand both the complex reality of life in provincial towns and the nature of its wide-ranging remembrance.
Shtetl: A Vernacular Intellectual History traces the trajectory of writing about these towns—by Jews and non-Jews, residents and visitors, researchers, novelists, memoirists, journalists and others—to demonstrate how the Yiddish word for “town” emerged as a key word in Jewish culture and studies. Shandler proposes that the intellectual history of the shtetl is best approached as an exemplar of engaging Jewish vernacularity, and that the variable nature of this engagement, far from being a drawback, is central to the subject’s enduring interest.
"Brown has been a close observer of the region for decades, and the breadth of his knowledge and the acuity of his judgments are evident throughout."—Michael Bernhard, Political Science Quarterly
"There is no surer guide than Brown to an understanding of these events, and no one better qualified to describe the complex and daunting problems facing the new non-communist governments."—John C. Campbell, Foreign Affairs
“This is the first book to systematically examine the variation in policies of Eastern European countries. There is a theoretical contribution to understandings of variation in tax policies, but just as impressive is the in-depth empirical analysis and in particular the data from interviews with key players in the process.”
—Yoshiko Herrera, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Post-Communist tax reform, like institutional reform in other areas of the post-Communist transition, holds tremendous material consequences for different groups in society. Consequently, one would expect the allocation of resources and the distribution of the financial burden of that allocation to be highly sensitive to domestic politics. Indeed the political stakes should be especially high since post-Communist tax reform requires not merely a simple adjustment at the margin, but the fundamental reallocation of the responsibility for government revenue. In Eastern Europe, however, important areas of tax policy do not reflect traditional domestic variables (e.g., interest groups and partisanship) so much as the international imperatives associated with regional and global economic integration.
In Tax Politics in Eastern Europe, Hilary Appel analyzes the domestic and international factors that drive tax policy. She begins with a review of the greatest challenges in the initial creation of the capitalist tax systems in former Communist states and then turns to the evolution of specific forms of taxation in order to gauge the relative impact of domestic politics on tax policy. Appel concludes that, although some tax areas, such as personal income taxes, remain politicized, most other taxes, such as corporate income taxes and all forms of consumption taxes, have been less subject to domestic political pressures because of powerful constraints resulting from regional and global economic integration.
Worlds of Dissent analyzes the myths of Central European resistance popularized by Western journalists and historians, and replaces them with a picture of the struggle against state repression as the dissidents themselves understood, debated, and lived it. In the late 1970s, when Czech intellectuals, writers, and artists drafted Charter 77 and called on their government to respect human rights, they hesitated to name themselves "dissidents." Their personal and political experiences-diverse, uncertain, nameless-have been obscured by victory narratives that portray them as larger-than-life heroes who defeated Communism in Czechoslovakia.Jonathan Bolton draws on diaries, letters, personal essays, and other first-person texts to analyze Czech dissent less as a political philosophy than as an everyday experience. Bolton considers not only Václav Havel but also a range of men and women writers who have received less attention in the West-including Ludvík Vaculík, whose 1980 diary The Czech Dream Book is a compelling portrait of dissident life.Bolton recovers the stories that dissidents told about themselves, and brings their dilemmas and decisions to life for contemporary readers. Dissidents often debated, and even doubted, their own influence as they confronted incommensurable choices and the messiness of real life. Portraying dissent as a human, imperfect phenomenon, Bolton frees the dissidents from the suffocating confines of moral absolutes. Worlds of Dissent offers a rare opportunity to understand the texture of dissent in a closed society.
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