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1989
Revolutionary Ideas and Ideals
Krishan Kumar
University of Minnesota Press, 2001

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

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Alignment, Alliance, and American Grand Strategy
Zachary Selden
University of Michigan Press, 2016
Although US foreign policy was largely unpopular in the early 2000s, many nation-states, especially those bordering Russia and China, expanded their security cooperation with the United States. In Alignment, Alliance, and American Grand Strategy, Zachary Selden notes that the regional power of these two illiberal states prompt threatened neighboring states to align with the United States. Gestures of alignment include participation in major joint military exercises, involvement in US-led operations, the negotiation of agreements for US military bases, and efforts to join a US-led alliance. By contrast, Brazil is also a rising regional power, but as it is a democratic state, its neighbors have not sought greater alliance with the United States.
 
Amid calls for retrenchment or restraint, Selden makes the case that a policy focused on maintaining American military preeminence and the demonstrated willingness to use force may be what sustains the cooperation of second-tier states, which in turn help to maintain US hegemony at a manageable cost.

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Beyond Glasnost
The Post-Totalitarian Mind
Jeffrey C. Goldfarb
University of Chicago Press, 1991
"Beyond Glasnost is a thoughtful exploration of the past decade's cultural and political ferment in Eastern Europe. It is also something else: an argument—in a deceptively unassuming, anti-ideological voice—about how to conceive of and move toward freedom; an argument that could hardly be more relevant to the roiling debates on the Western left."—Ellen Willis, Village Voice

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Breathing under Water and Other East European Essays
Stanislaw Baranczak
Harvard University Press, 1990

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.

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Children of the Greek Civil War
Refugees and the Politics of Memory
Loring M. Danforth and Riki Van Boeschoten
University of Chicago Press, 2011
At the height of the Greek Civil War in 1948, thirty-eight thousand children were evacuated from their homes in the mountains of northern Greece. The Greek Communist Party relocated half of them to orphanages in Eastern Europe, while their adversaries in the national government placed the rest in children’s homes elsewhere in Greece. A point of contention during the Cold War, this controversial episode continues to fuel tensions between Greeks and Macedonians and within Greek society itself. Loring M. Danforth and Riki Van Boeschoten present here for the first time a comprehensive study of the two evacuation programs and the lives of the children they forever transformed.

Marshalling archival records, oral histories, and ethnographic fieldwork, the authors analyze the evacuation process, the political conflict surrounding it, the children’s upbringing, and their fates as adults cut off from their parents and their homeland. They also give voice to seven refugee children who poignantly recount their childhood experiences and heroic efforts to construct new lives in diaspora communities throughout the world. A much-needed corrective to previous historical accounts, Children of the Greek Civil War is also a searching examination of the enduring effects of displacement on the lives of refugee children.
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Cinemas in Transition in Central and Eastern Europe after 1989
Catherine Portuges
Temple University Press, 2013
The cinemas of Eastern and Central Europe have been moving away from earlier Cold War perspectives and iconographies toward identifications more closely linked to a redefined Europe. Cinemas in Transition in Central and Eastern Europe after 1989 studies the shifts in the dynamics between film production, exhibition, and reception in Eastern bloc countries as they moved from state-sponsored systems toward the free market.
 
The contributors and editors of this exciting volume examine the interrelations between thematic, aesthetic, and infrastructural changes; the globalization of the international cinema marketplace; and the problems and promises arising from the privatization of national cinemas. 

Cinemas in Transition in Central and Eastern Europe after 1989 also addresses the strategies employed for preserving national cinemas and cultures through an analysis of films from the Czech and Slovak republics, the former German Democratic Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Ukraine, and the former Yugoslavia. The study provides a picture of Eastern European cinema at a critical juncture as well as its connections to the emergent world of transnational media.

Contributors include Barton Byg, Alexandra Foamente, Andrew Horton, Dina Iordanova, Ewa Mazierska, Bohdan Y. Nebesio, and Bogdan Stefanescu,

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COMMITTEES IN POST-COMMUNIST DEMOCRATIC PARLIAMENTS
COMPARATIVE INSTITUTIONALIZATION
DAVID M. OLSON
The Ohio State University Press, 2002

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.

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Constitution-Making in the Region of Former Soviet Dominance
Rett R. Ludwikowski
Duke University Press, 1996
With the end of the Cold War and the disintegration of the Soviet Union, newly formed governments throughout Eastern Europe and the former Soviet states have created constitutions that provide legal frameworks for the transition to free markets and democracy. In Constitution-Making in the Region of Former Soviet Dominance, Rett R. Ludwikowski offers a comparative study of constitution-making in progress and provides insight into the complex political and social circumstances that are shaping its present and future. The first study of these recent constitutional developments, this book also provides an appendix of all newly ratified constitutions in the region, an essential new reference source for scholars, students, and professionals.
Beginning with a review of the constitutional traditions of Eastern and Central Europe, Ludwikowski goes on to offer analysis of the recent process of political change in the region. A second section focuses specifically on the the new constitutions and such issues as the selection of the form of government, concepts of divisions of power, unicameralism vs. bicameralism, the flexibility or rigidity of constitutions as working documents, and the process of reviewing the constitutionality of laws. Individual states as framed in these documents are analyzed in economic, political, and cultural terms. Although it is too soon to fully consider the implementation of these constitutions, special attention is devoted to the effect of reform on human rights protection, a notorious problem of continuing concern in the region. A final section offers an insightful comparative study of constitutional law by reviewing the post-Soviet process of constitution-making against the backdrop of Western constitutional traditions.
Constitution-Making in the Region of Former Soviet Dominance is both a comprehensive study of constitutional developments in the former Soviet bloc and a primary reference tool for scholars of constitutional law, and Eastern European and post-Soviet studies.
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A Continent Moving West?
EU Enlargement and Labour Migration from Central and Eastern Europe
Edited by Richard Black, Godfried Engbersen, Marek Okólski, and Cristina Pantîru
Amsterdam University Press, 2010

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.

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The Crisis of Socialism in Europe
Christiane Lemke and Gary Marks, eds.
Duke University Press, 1991
The revolutions in Eastern Europe and the recasting of socialism in Western Europe since 1989 have given rise to intense debate over the origins, character, and implications of the “crisis” of socialism. Is socialism in ideological, electoral, or organizational decline? Is the decline inevitable or can socialism be revitalized? This volume draws together historians and political scientists of Eastern and Western European politics to address these questions.
The collection begins with an historical overview of socialism in Western Europe and moves toward the suggestion of a framework for a post-socialist discourse. Among the topics covered are: the birth and death of communism and a regime type in Eastern Europe; how different forms of national communism were smothered by Sovietization in the postwar period; the origins of revolutions in Eastern Europe; the potential for social democracy in Hungary; the role of the Left in a reunified German; and directions for the Left in general.

Contributors. Geoff Eley, Konrad Jarausch, Herbert Kitschelt, Christiane Lemke, Andrei Markovits, Gary Marks, Wolfgang Merkel, Norman Naimark, Iván and Szonja Szelénya, Sharon Wolchik

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Cultural Formations Of Postcommunism
Emancipation, Transition, Nation, and War
Michael D. Kennedy
University of Minnesota Press, 2002
A powerful exposition of how culture shapes social and political change. "Transition" is the name typically given to the time of radical change following the fall of communism, connoting a shift from planned to market economy, from dictatorship to democracy. Transition is also, in Michael Kennedy's analysis, a culture in its own right-with its own contentions, repressions, and unrealized potentials. By elaborating transition as a culture of power and viewing it in its complex relation to emancipation, nationalism, and war, Kennedy's book clarifies the transformations of postcommunism as well as, more generally, the ways in which culture articulates social change. This ambitious work is, in effect, a nuanced critical-cultural sociology of change. Kennedy examines transition culture's historical foundation by looking at the relationship among perestroika, Poland, and Hungary, and considers its structure and practice in the following decade across fields and nations. His wide-ranging analysis-of the artifacts of transition culture's proponents, of interviews with providers and recipients of technical assistance in business across Eastern Europe, and of focus groups assessing the successes and failures of social change in Estonia and Ukraine-suggests a transition culture deeply implicated in nationalism. But this association, Kennedy contends, is not necessarily antithetical to transition's emancipation. By reconsidering transition culture's relationship to the Wars of Yugoslav Succession and communism's negotiated collapse in Poland and Hungary, he shows how transition might be reconceived in terms of solidarity, freedom, and peace. Distinguished by its focus on culture, not only within particular nations but in the transnational community organized around transition, this book will help reframe the debate about postcommunist social change. Michael D. Kennedy is vice provost for international affairs, director of the International Institute, and associate professor of sociology at the University of Michigan.
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Desolate Landscapes
Ice-Age Settlement in Eastern Europe
John F. Hoffecker
Rutgers University Press, 2002

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.

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Dominant Powers and Subordinate States
The United States in Latin America and the Soviet Union in Eastern Europe
Jan F. Triska, ed.
Duke University Press, 1986
In comparing how the two superpowers exercise their persuasive control over their respective spheres, this book presents collective evidence toward the startling conclusion that this dominance, as it has been practiced, is no longer in the national interest of either the United States or the USSR.
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East Central and Eastern Europe in the Early Middle Ages
Florin Curta, Editor
University of Michigan Press, 2005

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.

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Eastern Europe 1740-1985
Feudalism to Communism
Robin Okey
University of Minnesota Press, 1987

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Economic Adjustment and Reform in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union
Essays in Honor of Franklyn D. Holzman
Josef C. Brada, Ed A. Hewett, and Thomas Wolf, eds.
Duke University Press, 1988
Economic reform, structural adjustment, macroeconomic stabilization, and participation in the world economy are interconnected aspects of the same issue: the long-term economic viability of centrally planned economies in the rapidly changing economic environment of the modern world. Any economic strategy that focuses on only one or two of these aspects at the expense of the others is likely to fail; yet even strategies that build on all of these bases may well fail unless political leaders can muster exceptional skill, garner international support, and enjoy some good luck.

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.

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The Emergence Of Modern Jewish Politics
Bundism And Zionism In Eastern Europe
Zvi Gitelman
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2003
The Emergence of Modern Jewish Politics examines the political, social, and cultural dimensions of Zionism and Bundism, the two major political movements among East European Jews during the first half of the twentieth century.

While Zionism achieved its primary aim—the founding of a Jewish state—the Jewish Labor Bund has not only practically disappeared, but its ideals of socialism and secular Jewishness based in the diaspora seem to have failed. Yet, as Zvi Gitelman and the various contributors argue, it was the Bund that more profoundly changed the structure of Jewish society, politics, and culture.

In thirteen essays, prominent historians, political scientists, and professors of literature discuss the cultural and political contexts of these movements, their impact on Jewish life, and the reasons for the Bund’s demise, and they question whether ethnic minorities are best served by highly ideological or  solidly pragmatic movements.
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Europe's Steppe Frontier, 1500-1800
William H. McNeill
University of Chicago Press, 1964
In Europe’s Steppe Frontier, acclaimed historian William H. McNeill analyzes the process whereby the thinly occupied grasslands of southeastern Europe were incorporated into the bodies-social of three great empires: the Ottoman, the Austrian, and the Russian. McNeill benefits from a New World detachment from the bitter nationality quarrels of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century which inspired but also blinded most of the historians of the region. Moreover, the unique institutional adjustments southeastern Europeans made to the frontier challenge cast indirect light upon the peculiarities of the North American frontier experience.
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Fieldwork Dilemmas
Anthropologists In Postsocialist States
Hermine G. De Soto
University of Wisconsin Press, 2000

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.

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First the Transition, then the Crash
Eastern Europe in the 2000s
Edited by Gareth Dale
Pluto Press, 2011

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.

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The Fiume Crisis
Dominique Kirchner Reill
Harvard University Press, 2020

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.

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Form and Instability
Eastern Europe, Literature, Postimperial Difference
Anita Starosta
Northwestern University Press, 2015
Form and Instability: Eastern Europe, Literature, and Post-Imperial Difference busies itself with the work of accounting for this discrepancy between ostensible historical change and the persistence of anachronistic ways of thinking, a discrepancy that remains unaddressed and eludes attention; and it goes on to propose that literature—not simply as an archive of representations or a source of cultural capital but as a critical perspective in its own right—offers a way to apprehend and to redress this problem.Historical situations such as the post-1989 transitions to capitalism and liberal democracy, as well as the “Eastern” enlargement of the E.U., not only entail empirical change; they also call for and provoke intense renegotiations of cultural values and analytical concepts. Through rhetoric, reading, and translation—terms central to this book—literature will be seen to expedite and redirect such re-arrangements. It will be shown to destabilize discursively fixed categories without imposing, in turn, its own fixity.

Located at the intersection of comparative literature, area studies, and literary theory, this interdisciplinary study has a twofold commitment: to Eastern Europe on the one hand and to literature on the other. It aims to intervene in the way we conceive of Eastern Europe by seeking to develop a more equitable way of thinking, one that avoids subordinating it to Eurocentric narratives of progress. At the same time, it marshals literature as both object and method of this rethinking, in order to extend existing conceptions of the usefulness and of the proper organization of literary studies. The three terms in the title of this book mark a passage—via literature—from “Eastern Europe” as an inadequate and obsolescent category to “post-imperial difference” as a more accurate, if provisional, account of the region. By way of original readings of particular texts, and by attending to literature as a critical
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The German Problem Transformed
Institutions, Politics, and Foreign Policy, 1945-1995
Thomas Banchoff
University of Michigan Press, 1999
Does the new, more powerful Germany pose a threat to its neighbors? Does the new German Problem resemble the old? The German Problem Transformed addresses these questions fifty years after the founding of the Federal Republic and ten years after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Many observers have underscored the reemergence of Germany as Europe's central power. After four decades of division, they contend, Germany is once again fully sovereign; without the strictures of bipolarity, its leaders are free to define and pursue national interests in East and West. From this perspective, the reunified Germany faces challenges not unlike those of its unified predecessor a century earlier.
The German Problem Transformed rejects this formulation. Thomas Banchoff acknowledges post-reunification challenges, but argues that postwar changes, not prewar analogies, best illuminate them. The book explains the transformation of German foreign policy through a structured analysis of four critical postwar junctures: the cold war of the 1950s, the détente of the 1960s and 1970s, the new cold war of the early 1980s, and the post-cold war 1990s. Each chapter examines the interaction of four factors--international structure and institutions, foreign policy ideas, and domestic politics--in driving the direction of German foreign policy at a key turning point.
This book will be of interest to scholars and students of German history, German politics, and European international relations, as well as policymakers and the interested public.
Thomas Banchoff is Assistant Professor of Government, Georgetown University.
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The Grooves of Change
Eastern Europe at the Turn of the Millennium
J.F. Brown
Duke University Press, 2001
The Grooves of Change is the culmination of J. F. Brown’s esteemed career as an analyst of Eastern Europe. He traces events in this diverse and disruption-riddled region from the communist era to the years of transition after the fall of the Berlin Wall to the present. Brown also provides specific analyses of the development of liberal democratic culture in the former communist countries of Eastern Europe—Albania, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and the successor states of Yugoslavia.
While acknowledging that the term “Eastern Europe” began to fall into disuse with the end of the cold war, Brown uses it as a framework for discussing the enduring features of the modern history of this region: its basic continuity, the prominence of ethnic and national factors, and its dependence on great powers or combinations of powers outside it. He explains the significance of the growing gulf between East Central Europe and South Eastern Europe, the overall political and economic deprivation and its effect on the people, the urgency of change, and the complex dynamics within Eastern Europe that have defied definitions and generalization. Finally, Brown points to the need for continuing assistance by the United States and the West and suggests what the twenty-first century may bring to this constantly changing part of the world.
Those seeking a clear overview of events in Eastern Europe during the recent psat and the state of these nations now will benefit from this incisive study by J. F. Brown.
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Hopes and Shadows
Eastern Europe After Communism
J. F. Brown
Duke University Press, 1994
After the exuberance that marked the revolutions of 1989, the countries of Eastern Europe have faced the breathtakingly ambitious task of remaking their societies. Simultaneously they have sought to build liberal democracies based on market economics, while confronting reassertions of claims for national independence long suppressed. Taking up where his previous book Surge to Freedom ended, J. F. Brown’s Hopes and Shadows analyzes the results of the first four years of Eastern Europe’s separation from communist rule and the prospects for the future.
The forces at work in the midst of this revolution are examined from a perspective that is necessarily both historical and contemporary as the complex relationship between the tasks that face these countries and the legacy of their communist and pre-communist past shape the difficult present. As the usefulness of the designation "Eastern Europe" is itself questioned, Brown provides both regional and country-by-country analysis of the political situation. The Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and Poland are grouped together, as are Romania, Bulgaria, and Albania, to address questions such as the development of liberal democratic culture, the activation of democratic institutions and procedures, and the future of former communist bureaucracies. He considers the former Yugoslavia—now torn violently apart—largely as a separate case. The theoretical, political, social, financial, cultural, and psychological dimensions of the transition from socialism to a market economy are discussed in detail. The final aspect of this revolution, the failure of which most immediately threatens the entire process, is the attempt to build new and stable national statehoods. Brown explores the history and impact of the current reemergence of nationalism and the dangers it represents.
A comprehensive and authoritative survey, J. F. Brown’s analysis and presentation of the contemporary Eastern European political landscape will be essential reading for scholars and specialists and of great interest to general readers.
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Imagining the West in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union
Gyorgy Peteri
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2010

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.

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Impure Migration
Jews and Sex Work in Golden Age Argentina
Mir Yarfitz
Rutgers University Press, 2019
Impure Migration investigates the period from the 1890s until the 1930s, when prostitution was a legal institution in Argentina and the international community knew its capital city Buenos Aires as the center of the sex industry. At the same time, pogroms and anti-Semitic discrimination left thousands of Eastern European Jewish people displaced, without the resources required to immigrate. For many Jewish women, participation in prostitution was one of very few ways they could escape the limited options in their home countries, and Jewish men facilitate their transit and the organization of their work and social lives. Instead of marginalizing this story or reading it as a degrading chapter in Latin American Jewish history, Impure Migration interrogates a complicated social landscape to reveal that sex work is in fact a critical part of the histories of migration, labor, race, and sexuality.
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Insatiability
Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz, translated from the Polish by Louis Iribarne
Northwestern University Press, 1994
Witkiewicz's 1927 masterpiece, made famous in Polish dissident and Nobel laureate Czesław Miłosz's The Captive Mind, is one of the most unforgettable depictions of the tensions and trade-offs between ideological loyalty and individual conscience in world literature. Futuristic, experimental, and remarkably prophetic, Insatiability traces the choices of a young Pole as his divided nation both opposes and welcomes a communitarian invasion from the east offering a narcotic that both removes anxieties and induces obedience. An anti-Utopian classic, it foretold the irresoluble and sometimes deadly choices that faced Eastern European thinkers, writers, and politicians during the years of Soviet domination.
 
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front cover of Intellectuals and the Articulation of the Nation
Intellectuals and the Articulation of the Nation
Ronald Grigor Suny and Michael D. Kennedy, Editors
University of Michigan Press, 2001
What kinds of intellectual practices are influential in the making and remaking of nations? How do literary texts shape nation-making? When are intellectuals most and least relevant to developing the nation? How do liberal, socialist, and nationalist intellectuals shape national ideologies?
One of the principal debates in the study of nations concerns the relative significance of elites, specifically intellectuals, in inventing the nation. Intellectuals and the Articulation of the Nation delimits the capacities of intellectuals for shaping nations, as well as the ways in which the development of nations shapes intellectual practices. The introductory chapter presents the principal debates around nation-making and the identity and practices of intellectuals. Contributors from anthropology, history, literature, political science and sociology then explore the capacities and limits of intellectuals in the formation and restructuring of national identities in general, and in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union in particular.
Each essay is followed by a brief intellectual autobiography in which the author's own relationship to nations is explored. The editors conclude the volume by developing a general theory of national intellectual practice.
The principal focus of this book--the mutual articulation of intellectuals and nations--is a key subject for students and scholars of history, cultural studies, political science, anthropology, and sociology.
Ronald Grigor Suny is Professor of Political Science, University of Chicago. Michael D. Kennedy is Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Michigan.
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The Invention of the Jewish Gaucho
Villa Clara and the Construction of Argentine Identity
By Judith Noemí Freidenberg
University of Texas Press, 2009

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.

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The Language of Political Incorporation
Chinese Migrants in Europe
Amy Liu
Temple University Press, 2021

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.

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Less than Slaves
Benjamin B. Ferencz
Harvard University Press, 1979

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Lost in Transition
Ethnographies of Everyday Life after Communism
Kristen Ghodsee
Duke University Press, 2011
Lost in Transition tells of ordinary lives upended by the collapse of communism. Through ethnographic essays and short stories based on her experiences with Eastern Europe between 1989 and 2009, Kristen Ghodsee explains why it is that so many Eastern Europeans are nostalgic for the communist past. Ghodsee uses Bulgaria, the Eastern European nation where she has spent the most time, as a lens for exploring the broader transition from communism to democracy. She locates the growing nostalgia for the communist era in the disastrous, disorienting way that the transition was handled. The privatization process was contested and chaotic. A few well-connected foreigners and a new local class of oligarchs and criminals used the uncertainty of the transition process to take formerly state-owned assets for themselves. Ordinary people inevitably felt that they had been robbed. Many people lost their jobs just as the state social-support system disappeared. Lost in Transition portrays one of the most dramatic upheavals in modern history by describing the ways that it interrupted the rhythms of everyday lives, leaving confusion, frustration, and insecurity in its wake.
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Map Men
Transnational Lives and Deaths of Geographers in the Making of East Central Europe
Steven Seegel
University of Chicago Press, 2018
More than just colorful clickbait or pragmatic city grids, maps are often deeply emotional tales: of political projects gone wrong, budding relationships that failed, and countries that vanished. In Map Men, Steven Seegel takes us through some of these historical dramas with a detailed look at the maps that made and unmade the world of East Central Europe through a long continuum of world war and revolution. As a collective biography of five prominent geographers between 1870 and 1950—Albrecht Penck, Eugeniusz Romer, Stepan Rudnyts’kyi, Isaiah Bowman, and Count Pál Teleki—Map Men reexamines the deep emotions, textures of friendship, and multigenerational sagas behind these influential maps.

Taking us deep into cartographical archives, Seegel re-creates the public and private worlds of these five mapmakers, who interacted with and influenced one another even as they played key roles in defining and redefining borders, territories, nations­—and, ultimately, the interconnection of the world through two world wars. Throughout, he examines the transnational nature of these processes and addresses weighty questions about the causes and consequences of the world wars, the rise of Nazism and Stalinism, and the reasons East Central Europe became the fault line of these world-changing developments.

At a time when East Central Europe has surged back into geopolitical consciousness, Map Men offers a timely and important look at the historical origins of how the region was defined—and the key people who helped define it.
 
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Mapping Europe's Borderlands
Russian Cartography in the Age of Empire
Steven Seegel
University of Chicago Press, 2012
The simplest purpose of a map is a rational one: to educate, to solve a problem, to point someone in the right direction. Maps shape and communicate information, for the sake of improved orientation. But maps exist for states as well as individuals, and they need to be interpreted as expressions of power and knowledge, as Steven Seegel makes clear in his impressive and important new book.
Mapping Europe’s Borderlands takes the familiar problems of state and nation building in eastern Europe and presents them through an entirely new prism, that of cartography and cartographers. Drawing from sources in eleven languages, including military, historical-pedagogical, and ethnographic maps, as well as geographic texts and related cartographic literature, Seegel explores the role of maps and mapmakers in the East Central European borderlands from the Enlightenment to the Treaty of Versailles. For example, Seegel explains how Russia used cartography in the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars and, later, formed its geography society as a cover for gathering intelligence. He also explains the importance of maps to the formation of identities and institutions in Poland, Ukraine, and Lithuania, as well as in Russia. Seegel concludes with a consideration of the impact of cartographers’ regional and socioeconomic backgrounds, educations, families, career options, and available language choices. 
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Materializing Identities in Socialist and Post-Socialist Cities
Edited by Jaroslav Ira and Jirí Janác
Karolinum Press, 2017
Following the so-called “Material Turn” of historiography, this book explores the materialization of identity in urban space—specifically in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Urban spaces played an important role in the formation of national identities in post-socialist successor states across the region, while at the same time the articulation of national identities markedly affected the appearance of these post-socialist cities. Beginning with an overview of socialist and post-socialist cities in recent urban history, contributors trace the post-socialist intertwining of space and identities in case studies that include Astana and Almaty in Kazakhstan, Chișinău and Tiraspol in Moldova, and Skopje in Macedonia, while also linking this phenomenon to socialist urbanism, as in postwar Minsk, Belarus.
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Muslim Communities Reemerge
Historical Perspectives on Nationality, Politics, and Opposition in the Former Soviet Union and Yugoslavia
Andreas Kappeler, Gerhard Simon, and Georg Brunner, eds.
Duke University Press, 1994
The terrible events afflicting Muslims in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Tajikistan fill the news, commanding the world's attention. This timely volume offers rare insight into the background of these catastrophic conflicts. First published in German on the eve of the breakup of the Yugoslav and Soviet republics, it is one of the few books in any language to analyze, in detail and in depth, the historical and contemporary situation of Muslims in former communist states and thus clarifies the sources, development, and implications of the events that dominate today's foreign news.

In fourteen chapters and an updated introduction, European and North American specialists examine the recent evolution of Islamic expression and practice in these former Communist regions, as well as its political significance within officially atheistic regimes. Representing a wide range of disciplines and perspectives, the authors detail how the modern ethno-religious situation developed and matured in hostile circumstances, the degree of latitude the local Muslims achieved in religious expression, and what prospect the future seemed to offer just before the breakup of the Soviet Union and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Overall, the book provides a thorough analysis of the coincidence and tension between ethnic and religious identity in two countries officially devoted to the separation of ethnic groups in domestic cultural arrangements but not in the social or political realm.

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

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My Life's Travels and Adventures
An Eighteenth-Century Oculist in the Ottoman Empire and the European Hinterland
Regina Salomea Pilsztynowa
Iter Press, 2020
In her never-finished My Life’s Travels and Adventures, the eighteenth-century Polish doctor Regina Salomea Pilsztynowa plays a myriad of roles, including child bride, wife, mother, lover, adventuress, slave trader, writer, and home-taught physician. She successfully carved out a viable niche for herself, navigating the multicultural, multiethnic, and varied religious environment of Europe’s eastern periphery. Despite limited expectations for female professionals, she became a highly sought after and well-respected practitioner of the medical arts and rose to the position of court physician to Turkish pashas and Hungarian princes, and even to Sultan Mustafa III. My Life’s Travels and Adventures—part memoir, part autobiography, and part travelogue—provides a view into eighteenth-century social, professional, and gender interactions and weaves a rich narrative replete with vignettes of love, travel, and popular superstitions important to our historical, ethnographic, and religious understanding of the era.

This edition brings the entirety of this personal and idiosyncratic memoir to English for the first time.
 
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NATO's Return to Europe
Engaging Ukraine, Russia, and Beyond
Rebecca R. Moore
Georgetown University Press

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.

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A New Ecological Order
Development and the Transformation of Nature in Eastern Europe
Stefan Dorondel and Stelu Serban
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2022

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.

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Nihil Obstat
Religion, Politics, and Social Change in East-Central Europe and Russia
Sabrina P. Ramet
Duke University Press, 1998
Nihil Obstat—Latin for "nothing stands in the way"—examines the interplay between religion and politics in East-Central Europe and Russia. While focusing on the postcommunist, late twentieth century, Sabrina P. Ramet discusses developments as far back as the eleventh century to explain the patterns that have developed over time and to show how they still affect contemporary interecclesiastical relations as well as those among Church, state, and society.
Based on interview research in Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, and Macedonia, and on materials published in German, Italian, Serbo-Croatian, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Russian, and English, Ramet paints a clear picture of the political and religious fragility of former communist states, which are experiencing some aspects of freedom and choice for the first time. With its comprehensive discussion of the largest religious institutions in the area, especially the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, and its extensive survey of nontraditional religious associations that have become active in the region since 1989, this study makes a distinct contribution to growing discussions about the rise of fundamentalism and the inner dilemmas of modernity. With its depth of information and thoughtful exploration of cultural traditions, Nihil Obstat uniquely presents the ramifications and complexities of European religion in a postcommunist world.
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Nomads and Natives beyond the Danube and the Black Sea
700–900 CE
Sergiu Musteaţă
Arc Humanities Press, 2019
This book presents a reconstruction of the socio-economic, ethnic, cultural, and political history of the Carpathian-Danubian area in the eighth and ninth centuries at a period when nomadic peoples from the east including the Bulgars, Avars, and Khazars migrated here. The work is based on a comprehensive analysis of narrative and archaeological sources including sites, artefacts, and goods in the basin bordered by the Tisza river in the west, the Danube in the south, and the Dniestr river in the east, covering swathes of modern-day Romania, Moldova, Ukraine, Serbia, and Hungary.
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One Day for Democracy
Independence Day and the Americanization of Iron Range Immigrants
Mary Lou Nemanic
Ohio University Press, 2007
Just before the turn of the twentieth century, immigrants from eastern and southern Europe who had settled in mining regions of Minnesota formed a subculture that combined elements of Old World traditions and American culture. Their unique pluralistic version of Americanism was expressed in Fourth of July celebrations rooted in European carnival traditions that included rough games, cross-dressing, and rowdiness.In One Day for Democracy, Mary Lou Nemanic traces the festive history of Independence Day from 1776 to the twentieth century. The author shows howthese diverse immigrant groups on the Minnesota Iron Range created their own version of the celebration, the Iron Range Fourth of July.As mass-mediated popular culture emerged in the twentieth century, Fourth of July celebrations in the Iron Range began to include such popular cultureelements as beauty queens and marching bands. Nemanic documents the enormous influence of these changes on this isolated region and highlights the complex interplay between popular culture and identity construction.But this is not a typical story of assimilation or ethnic separation. Instead, One Day for Democracy reveals how more than thirty different ethnic groupswho shared identities as both workers and new Americans came together in a remote mining region to create their own subculture.
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Organized Labor In Postcommunist States
From Solidarity To Infirmity
Paul J. Kubicek
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2004
Paul Kubicek offers a comparative study of organized labor's fate in four postcommunist countries, and examines the political and economic consequences of labor's weakness. He notes that with few exceptions, trade unions have lost members and suffered from low public confidence. Unions have failed to act while changing economic policies have resulted in declining living standards and unemployment for their membership.

While some of labor's problems can be traced to legacies of the communist period, Kubicek draws upon the experience of unions in the West to argue that privatization and nascent globalization are creating new economic structures and a political playing field hostile to organized labor. He concludes that labor is likely to remain a marginalized economic and political force for the foreseeable.
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Pleasures in Socialism
Leisure and Luxury in the Eastern Bloc
David Crowley
Northwestern University Press, 2010

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.

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Political Epistemics
The Secret Police, the Opposition, and the End of East German Socialism
Andreas Glaeser
University of Chicago Press, 2011

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.

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Post-Communism
An Introduction
Leslie Holmes
Duke University Press, 1997

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Post-Communist Malaise
Cinematic Responses to European Integration
Zoran Samardzija
Rutgers University Press, 2020
The collapse of communism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe was supposed to bring about the “end of history” with capitalism and liberal democracy achieving decisive victories. Europe would now integrate and reconcile with its past. However, the aftershocks of the financial crisis of 2008—the rise in right-wing populism, austerity politics, and mass migration—have shown that the ideological divisions which haunted Europe in the twentieth century still remain. It is within this context that Post-Communist Malaise revives discourses of political modernism and revisits debates from Marxism and seventies film theory. Analyzing work of Theo Angelopoulos, Věra Chytilová, Srdjan Dragojević, Jean-Luc Godard,  Miklós Jancsó, Emir Kusturica, Dušan Makavejev, Cristi Puiu, Jan Švankmajer, Andrei Tarkovsky, and Béla Tarr, the book focuses on how select cinemas from Eastern Europe and the Balkans critique the neoliberal integration of Europe whose failures fuel the rise of nationalism and right-wing politics. By politicizing art cinema from the regions, Post-Communist Malaise asks fundamental questions about film, aesthetics, and ideology. It argues for the utopian potential of the materiality of cinematic time to imagine a new political and cultural organization for Europe.
 
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Protestantism and Politics in Eastern Europe and Russia
The Communist and Post-Communist Eras
Sabrina P. Ramet, ed.
Duke University Press, 1993
Coming at a time of enormous transformations in the one-time Communist bloc, this volume provides a much-needed perspective on the significance of church-state relations in the renaissance of civil society in the region. The essays collected here accentuate the peculiarly political character of Protestantism within Communist systems. With few identifiable leaders, a multiplicity of denominations, and a tendency away from hierarchical structures, the Protestant churches presents a remarkably diverse pattern of church-state relations. Consequently, the longtime coexistence of Protestantism and Communism in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union affords numerous examples of political accommodation and theological adaption that both reflect and foreshadow the dramatic changes of the 1990s.
Based on extensive field research, including interviews with notable figures in the Protestant churches in the region, the essays in this volume address broad topics such as the church's involvment in environmentalism, pacifism, and other dissident movements, as well as issues particular to Russia, Poland, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, (1949–1989), Hungary, Yugoslavia (1945-1991), Bulgaria, and Romania. The final volume in the three-volume work "Christianity Under Stress," Protestantism and Politics in Eastern Europe and Russia will prove invaluable to anyone hoping to understand not only the workings of religion under Communism, but the historical and contemporary interactions of church and state in general.

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

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Race and Photography
Racial Photography as Scientific Evidence, 1876-1980
Amos Morris-Reich
University of Chicago Press, 2015
Race and Photography studies the changing function of photography from the 1870s to the 1940s within the field of the “science of race,” what many today consider the paradigm of pseudo-science. Amos Morris-Reich looks at the ways photography enabled not just new forms of documentation but new forms of perception. Foregoing the political lens through which we usually look back at race science, he holds it up instead within the light of the history of science, using it to explore how science is defined; how evidence is produced, used, and interpreted; and how science shapes the imagination and vice versa.
           
Exploring the development of racial photography wherever it took place, including countries like France and England, Morris-Reich pays special attention to the German and Jewish contexts of scientific racism. Through careful reconstruction of individual cases, conceptual genealogies, and patterns of practice, he compares the intended roles of photography with its actual use in scientific argumentation. He examines the diverse ways it was used to establish racial ideologies—as illustrations of types, statistical data, or as self-evident record of racial signs. Altogether, Morris-Reich visits this troubling history to outline important truths about the roles of visual argumentation, imagination, perception, aesthetics, epistemology, and ideology within scientific study.  
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Red Army Red
Poems
Jehanne Dubrow
Northwestern University Press, 2012
Displaying a sure sense of craft and a sharp facility for linking personal experience to the public realms of history and politics, Jehanne Dubrow’s Red Army Red chronicles the coming of age of a child of American diplomats in Eastern Europe in the 1980s. In the last moments of the Cold War, Poland—the setting for many of the poems—lurches fitfully from a society characterized by hardship and deprivation toward a free-market economy. The contradictions and turmoil generated by this transition are the context in which an adolescent girl awakens to her sexuality. With wit and subtlety, Dubrow makes apparent the parallels between the body and the body politic, between the fulfillment of individual and collective desires.
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Red Hangover
Legacies of Twentieth-Century Communism
Kristen Ghodsee
Duke University Press, 2017
In Red Hangover Kristen Ghodsee examines the legacies of twentieth-century communism twenty-five years after the Berlin Wall fell. Ghodsee's essays and short stories reflect on the lived experience of postsocialism and how many ordinary men and women across Eastern Europe suffered from the massive social and economic upheavals in their lives after 1989. Ghodsee shows how recent major crises—from the Russian annexation of Crimea and the Syrian Civil War to the rise of Islamic State and the influx of migrants in Europe—are linked to mistakes made after the collapse of the Eastern Bloc when fantasies about the triumph of free markets and liberal democracy blinded Western leaders to the human costs of "regime change." Just as the communist ideal has become permanently tainted by its association with the worst excesses of twentieth-century Eastern European regimes, today the democratic ideal is increasingly sullied by its links to the ravages of neoliberalism. An accessible introduction to the history of European state socialism and postcommunism, Red Hangover reveals how the events of 1989 continue to shape the world today.
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Religion and Nationalism in Soviet and East European Politics
Pedro Ramet, ed.
Duke University Press, 1988
Religious organizations in many countries of the communist world have served as agents for the preservation, defense, and reinforcement of nationalist feelings, and in playing this role have frequently been a source of frustration to the Communist Party elites. Although the relationship between governments and religious groups varies according to the particular country and group in question, the mosaic of these relationships constitutes a revealing picture of the political reform shaping the lives of Soviet and East European citizens.
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Reluctant Realists
The CDU/DSU and West German Ostpolitik
Clay Clemens
Duke University Press, 1989
This is a study of the evolution of the West German Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union (CDU/CSU) approach to relations with the Soviet bloc (and particularly East Germany), from fierce antagonism to any accommodation with Communist regimes in 1969 to the growing acceptance of the necessity for rapprochement in the 1980s. Clay Clemens, basing his analyses on interviews with leading political figures as well as on party documents, examines the party’s changing ostpolitik position during the period in which it was in opposition (1969-82) and assesses the factors—international, domestic, and interparty—that brought about a change in that policy. A concluding section deals with events since 1982.
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Remaining Relevant after Communism
The Role of the Writer in Eastern Europe
Andrew Baruch Wachtel
University of Chicago Press, 2005
More than any other art form, literature defined Eastern Europe as a cultural and political entity in the second half of the twentieth century. Although often persecuted by the state, East European writers formed what was frequently recognized to be a "second government," and their voices were heard and revered inside and outside the borders of their countries. This study by one of our most influential specialists on Eastern Europe considers the effects of the end of communism on such writers.

According to Andrew Baruch Wachtel, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the creation of fledgling societies in Eastern Europe brought an end to the conditions that put the region's writers on a pedestal. In the euphoria that accompanied democracy and free markets, writers were liberated from the burden of grandiose political expectations. But no group is happy to lose its influence: despite recognizing that their exalted social position was related to their reputation for challenging political oppression, such writers have worked hard to retain their status, inventing a series of new strategies for this purpose. Remaining Relevant after Communism considers these strategies—from pulp fiction to public service—documenting what has happened on the East European scene since 1989.
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Retuning Culture
Musical Changes in Central and Eastern Europe
Mark Slobin
Duke University Press, 1996
As a measure of individual and collective identity, music offers both striking metaphors and tangible data for understanding societies in transition—and nowhere is this clearer than in the recent case of the Eastern Bloc. Retuning Culture presents an extraordinary picture of this phenomenon. This pioneering set of studies traces the tumultuous and momentous shifts in the music cultures of Central and Eastern Europe from the first harbingers of change in the 1970s through the revolutionary period of 1989–90 to more recent developments.
During the period of state socialism, both the reinterpretation of the folk music heritage and the domestication of Western forms of music offered ways to resist and redefine imposed identities. With the removal of state control and support, music was free to channel and to shape emerging forms of cultural identity. Stressing both continuity and disjuncture in a period of enormous social and cultural change, this volume focuses on the importance and evolution of traditional and popular musics in peasant communities and urban environments in Hungary, Poland, Romania, Russia, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, the former Yugoslavia, Macedonia, and Bulgaria. Written by longtime specialists in the region and considering both religious and secular trends, these essays examine music as a means of expressing diverse aesthetics and ideologies, participating in the formation of national identities, and strengthening ethnic affiliation.
Retuning Culture provides a rich understanding of music’s role at a particular cultural and historical moment. Its broad range of perspectives will attract readers with interests in cultural studies, music, and Central and Eastern Europe.

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

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The Rise of Modern Yiddish Culture
David E. Fishman
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2010

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.

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The Roma Cafe
Human Rights and the Plight of the Romani People
Istvan Pogany
Pluto Press, 2004

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Rotten States?
Corruption, Post-Communism, and Neoliberalism
Leslie Holmes
Duke University Press, 2006
Official corruption has become increasingly prevalent around the world since the early 1990s. The situation appears to be particularly acute in the post-communist states. Corruption—be it real or perceived—is a major problem with concrete implications, including a lowered likelihood of foreign investment. In Rotten States? Leslie Holmes analyzes corruption in post-communist countries, paying particular attention to Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, and Russia, as well as China, which Holmes argues has produced, through its recent economic liberalization, a system similar to post-communism. As he points out, these countries offer useful comparisons: they vary in terms of size, religious orientation, ethnic homogeneity, and their approaches to and economic success with the transition from communism.

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.

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The Roundtable Talks and the Breakdown of Communism
Edited by Jon Elster
University of Chicago Press, 1996
In 1989 and 1990, Eastern European Communist regimes and opposition groups conducted a series of roundtable talks to peacefully negotiate the abolition of authoritarian rule and the transition to democratic governance. This volume documents that unprecedented process of national reinvention and constitution making.

These essays capture the historical circumstances of these countries—their traditions, customs, and the balance of influence between competing factions—that often took precedence over constitutional ideals. In five country-specific reports, senior scholars provide detailed accounts of the talks in Bulgaria, Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and the German Democratic Republic. Also included is an essay on the political factors underlying the failure of negotiations between reform groups and the Chinese regime, providing an illuminating counterpoint to the path taken in Eastern Europe.

This book is an invaluable resource for scholars of constitutional design and democratization and for specialists in Eastern Europe.
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Russia's Hostile Measures
Understanding the Threat
Cohen
RAND Corporation, 2019
This report examines current Russian hostile measures in Europe and forecasts how Russia might threaten Europe using these measures over the next few years. This report observes that Russia has the most strategic interest in influencing western Europe, but it has the most leverage over countries of eastern Europe, and offers a range of recommendations for the U.S. government and for the U.S. Army on countering hostile measures.
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Shtetl
A Vernacular Intellectual History
Shandler, Jeffrey
Rutgers University Press, 2014

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.

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Social Currents in Eastern Europe
The Sources and Consequences of the Great Transformation
Sabrina P. Ramet
Duke University Press, 1994
Social Currents in Eastern Europe traces the diverse social currents that have developed alongside and interacted with political and economic forces to bring about change in Eastern Europe. In this second edition—which significantly updates and expands the previous edition to include a new introduction, revisions throughout, as well as five new chapters, including timely material on ethnic war in the former Yugoslavia—Ramet extends and develops the theory of social change upon which the book is based.
Ramet draws on interviews conducted over a ten-year period with individuals active in arenas for social change—intellectual dissent, feminism, religious activism, youth cultures and movements, and trade unionism—in eight East European countries: East Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Romania, Bulgaria, and Albania. She shows how the processes leading to the ultimate collapse of communism began more than a decade earlier and how they were necessarily manifested in spheres as diverse as religion and rock music.
Ramet also examines the consequences of the "Great Transformation" and analyzes the numerous unresolved problems that these societies currently confront, whether it be in the arena of economics, political legitimation, or the challenges of establishing a civil society free of chauvinism.
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Soviet Signoras
Personal and Collective Transformations in Eastern European Migration
Martina Cvajner
University of Chicago Press, 2019
Across the Western world, the air is filled with talk of immigration. The changes brought by immigration have triggered a renewed fervor for isolationism able to shutter political traditions and party systems. So often absent from these conversations on migration are however the actual stories and experiences of the migrants themselves. In fact, migration does not simply transport people. It also changes them deeply. Enter Martina Cvajner’s Soviet Signoras, a far-reaching ethnographic study of two decades in the lives of women who migrated to northern Italy from several former Soviet republics.

Cvajner details the personal and collective changes brought about by the experience of migration for these women: from the first hours arriving in a new country with no friends, relatives, or existing support networks, to later remaking themselves for their new environment. In response to their traumatic displacement, the women of Soviet Signoras—nearly all of whom found work in their new Western homes as elder care givers—refashioned themselves in highly sexualized, materialistic, and intentionally conspicuous ways. Cvajner’s focus on overt sexuality and materialism is far from sensationalist, though. By zeroing in on these elements of personal identity, she reveals previously unexplored sides of the social psychology of migration, coloring our contemporary discussion with complex shades of humanity.
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Staging Postcommunism
Alternative Theatre in Eastern and Central Europe after 1989
Vessela S. Warner and Diana Manole
University of Iowa Press, 2020
Theatre in Eastern and Central Europe was never the same after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. In the transition to a postcommunist world, “alternative theatre” found ways to grapple with political chaos, corruption, and aggressive implementation of a market economy. Three decades later, this volume is the first comprehensive examination of alternative theatre in ten former communist countries. The essays focus on companies and artists that radically changed the language and organization of theatre in the countries formerly known as the Eastern European bloc. This collection investigates the ways in which postcommunist alternative theatre negotiated and embodied change not only locally but globally as well.

Contributors: Dennis Barnett, Dennis C. Beck, Violeta Decheva, Luule Epner, John Freedman, Barry Freeman, Margarita Kompelmakher, Jaak Rahesoo, Angelina Ros¸ca, Ban¸uta Rubess, Christopher Silsby, Andrea Tompa, S. E. Wilmer
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The Struggle for Constitutional Justice in Post-Communist Europe
Herman Schwartz
University of Chicago Press, 2000
In the former Eastern Bloc countries, one of the most difficult and important aspects of the transition to democracy has been the establishment of constitutional justice and the rule of law. Herman Schwartz's wide-ranging book, backed with rich historical detail and a massive array of research, is the first to chronicle and analyze the rise and troubles of constitutional courts in this changing region.

"Those who are interested in understanding the behavior of constitutional courts in transitional regimes cannot afford to ignore this important book. . . . [It] is fecund with hypotheses of interest to political scientists, and we are indebted to Professor Schwartz for his comprehensive analysis."—James L. Gibson, Law and Politics Book Review
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Surge to Freedom
The End of Communist Rule in Eastern Europe
J. F. Brown
Duke University Press, 1991
In praise of Surge to Freedom: The End of Communist Rule in Eastern Europe:
"Nobody has yet produced a more perceptive and inclusive work on the events of what is arguably the most important year of our lifetimes. This book is essential for anyone with an interest in Eastern Europe, radical social change, or post-bipolar global politics."—Joel M. Jenswold, Social Science Quarterly

"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

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Tax Politics in Eastern Europe
Globalization, Regional Integration, and the Democratic Compromise
Hilary Appel
University of Michigan Press, 2011

“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.

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Through Soviet Jewish Eyes
Photography, War, and the Holocaust
Shneer, David
Rutgers University Press, 2012
Winner of the 2013 Jordan Schnitzer Book Award in the category of Jews and the Arts

Finalist for the 2011 National Jewish Book Award in the Holocaust category


Most view the relationship of Jews to the Soviet Union through the lens of repression and silence. Focusing on an elite group of two dozen Soviet-Jewish photographers, including Arkady Shaykhet, Alexander Grinberg, Mark Markov-Grinberg, Evgenii Khaldei, Dmitrii Baltermants, and Max Alpert, Through Soviet Jewish Eyes presents a different picture. These artists participated in a social project they believed in and with which they were emotionally and intellectually invested-they were charged by the Stalinist state to tell the visual story of the unprecedented horror we now call the Holocaust.

These wartime photographers were the first liberators to bear witness with cameras to Nazi atrocities, three years before Americans arrived at Buchenwald and Dachau. In this passionate work, David Shneer tells their stories and highlights their work through their very own images-he has amassed never-before-published photographs from families, collectors, and private archives.

Through Soviet Jewish Eyes helps us understand why so many Jews flocked to Soviet photography; what their lives and work looked like during the rise of Stalinism, during and then after the war; and why Jews were the ones charged with documenting the Soviet experiment and then its near destruction at the hands of the Nazis.
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The Traffic in Women's Work
East European Migration and the Making of Europe
Anca Parvulescu
University of Chicago Press, 2014
“Welcome to the European family!” When East European countries joined the European Union under this banner after 1989, they agreed to the free movement of goods, services, capital, and persons. In this book, Anca Parvulescu analyzes an important niche in this imagined European kinship: the traffic in women, or the circulation of East European women in West Europe in marriage and as domestic servants, nannies, personal attendants, and entertainers. Analyzing film, national policies, and an impressive range of work by theorists from Giorgio Agamben to Judith Butler, she develops a critical lens through which to think about the transnational continuum of “women’s work.”
 
Parvulescu revisits Claude Lévi-Strauss’s concept of kinship and its rearticulation by second-wave feminists, particularly Gayle Rubin, to show that kinship has traditionally been anchored in the traffic in women. Reading recent cinematic texts that help frame this, she reveals that in contemporary Europe, East European migrant women are exchanged to engage in labor customarily performed by wives within the institution of marriage. Tracing a pattern of what she calls Americanization, Parvulescu argues that these women thereby become responsible for the labor of reproduction. A fascinating cultural study as much about the consequences of the enlargement of the European Union as women’s mobility, The Traffic in Women’s Work questions the foundations of the notion of Europe today.
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front cover of The Transition in Eastern Europe, Volume 1
The Transition in Eastern Europe, Volume 1
Edited by Olivier Jean Blanchard, Kenneth A. Froot, and Jeffrey D. Sachs
University of Chicago Press, 1994
When communism fell in 1989, the question for most Eastern European countries was not whether to go to a market economy, but how to get there. Several years later, the difficult process of privatization and restructuring continues to concern the countries of the region. The Transition in Eastern Europe, Volumes 1 and 2 is an analysis of the experiences of various countries making the transition to market economies and examines the most important challenges still in store.

Volume 1, Country Studies, gives an in-depth, country-by-country analysis of various reform experiences, including historical backgrounds and discussions of policies and results to date. The countries analyzed are Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, eastern Germany, Slovenia, and Russia. Written by leading economists, some of whom helped shape local and national reforms, this volume identifies common progress, common difficulties, and tentative solutions to the problems of economic transition.

Volume 2, Restructuring, focuses on specific issues of transition, including how to design labor market institutions, privatization, new fiscal structures, and bankruptcy laws; how to reorganize foreign trade; and how to promote foreign direct investment. The articles, written by experts in the field, will be of direct help to those involved in the transition process.

These volumes provide a standard reference on economic transition in the region for policymakers in Eastern Europe and in western countries, for international agencies concerned with the transition process, and for anyone interested in learning about the dramatic changes that have recently occurred in Eastern Europe.
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front cover of The Transition in Eastern Europe, Volume 2
The Transition in Eastern Europe, Volume 2
Restructuring
Edited by Olivier Jean Blanchard, Kenneth A. Froot, and Jeffrey D. Sachs
University of Chicago Press, 1994
When communism fell in 1989, the question for most Eastern European countries was not whether to go to a market economy, but how to get there. Several years later, the difficult process of privatization and restructuring continues to concern the countries of the region. The Transition in Eastern Europe, Volumes 1 and 2 is an analysis of the experiences of various countries making the transition to market economies and examines the most important challenges still in store.

Volume 1, Country Studies, gives an in-depth, country-by-country analysis of various reform experiences, including historical backgrounds and discussions of policies and results to date. The countries analyzed are Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, eastern Germany, Slovenia, and Russia. Written by leading economists, some of whom helped shape local and national reforms, this volume identifies common progress, common difficulties, and tentative solutions to the problems of economic transition.

Volume 2, Restructuring, focuses on specific issues of transition, including how to design labor market institutions, privatization, new fiscal structures, and bankruptcy laws; how to reorganize foreign trade; and how to promote foreign direct investment. The articles, written by experts in the field, will be of direct help to those involved in the transition process.

These volumes provide a standard reference on economic transition in the region for policymakers in Eastern Europe and in western countries, for international agencies concerned with the transition process, and for anyone interested in learning about the dramatic changes that have recently occurred in Eastern Europe.
[more]

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Transnational Actors in Central and East European Transitions
Mitchell Alexander Orenstein
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2008
When Vladimir Putin claimed “outside forces” were at work during the Ukrainian Orange Revolution of 2004, it was not just a case of paranoia. In this uprising against election fraud, protesters had been trained in political organization and nonviolent resistance by a Western-financed democracy building coalition. Putin's accusations were more than just a call to xenophobic impulses-they were a testament to the pervasive influence of transnational actors in the shaping of postcommunist countries.

Despite this, the role of transnational actors has been downplayed or dismissed by many theorists. Realists maintain that only powerful states assert major influence, while others argue that transnational actors affect only rhetoric, not policy outcomes. The editors of this volume contend that transnational actors have exerted a powerful influence in postcommunist transitions. They demonstrate that transitions to democracy, capitalism, and nation-statehood, which scholars thought were likely to undermine one another, were facilitated by the integration of Central and East European states into an international system of complex interdependence. Transnational actors turn out to be the “dark matter” that held the various aspects of the transition together.  

Transnational actors include international governmental and nongovernmental organizations, corporations, banks, foundations, religious groups, and activist networks, among others. The European Union is the most visible transnational actor in the region, but there are many others, including the OSCE, NATO, Council of Europe, the Catholic Church, and the Soros Foundation. 

Transnational Actors in Central and East European Transitions assembles leading scholars to debate the role and impact of transnational actors and presents a promising new research program for the study of this rapidly transforming region.
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Transnational Capitalism in East Central Europe's Heavy Industry
From Flagship Enterprises to Subsidiaries
Aleksandra Sznajder Lee
University of Michigan Press, 2016
Focusing on the steel industry during the post-communist transition from 1989 through 2009, Aleksandra Sznajder Lee traces the transformation of flagship state enterprises in the Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia into the subsidiaries of large, international corporations. By analyzing this transformation at the three levels of enterprise, sector, and national-international nexus, she identifies the players—from international investors and European Union members to national labor unions and local industry managers—in the political economy of reform. Even in the midst of the transition to a capitalist, democratic system, Sznajder Lee finds, the state plays a key role in mediating between domestic vested interests and external pressures from international financial markets and institutions, on the one hand, and regional institutions on the other. Whereas state power may be employed to require domestic firms to operate as capitalists in the international market, it may also be used to shield enterprises from market pressures in order to promote the political and personal preferences of the elite.

This book has broad implications for the political economy of reform because it illuminates the political determinants of privatization and the resources used to resist it. In addition, Sznajder Lee sheds new light on why some countries are more likely than others to be subject to external constraints, such as IMF conditionality, and how some allegedly pro-market reformers manage to maintain public ownership over certain industry sectors.

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TV Socialism
Anikó Imre
Duke University Press, 2016
In TV Socialism, Anikó Imre provides an innovative history of television in socialist Europe during and after the Cold War. Rather than uniform propaganda programming, Imre finds rich evidence of hybrid aesthetic and economic practices, including frequent exchanges within the region and with Western media, a steady production of varied genre entertainment, elements of European public service broadcasting, and transcultural, multi-lingual reception practices. These televisual practices challenge conventional understandings of culture under socialism, divisions between East and West, and the divide between socialism and postsocialism. Taking a broad regional perspective encompassing Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, Imre foregrounds continuities between socialist television and the region’s shared imperial histories, including the programming trends, distribution patterns, and reception practices that extended into postsocialism. Television, she argues, is key to understanding European socialist cultures and to making sense of developments after the end of the Cold War and the enduring global legacy of socialism.
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Varieties of Marxist Humanism
Philosophical Revision in Postwar Eastern Europe
James H. Satterwhite
University of Pittsburgh Press, 1992
Satterwhite analyzes the work of revisionist thinkers in four East European countries whose critique of the orthodox “official” Marxism laid the philosophical groundwork for the 1989-1990 upheavals in Eastern Europe and a reassessment of Marxist thought generally throughout the world.
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Voting for Hitler and Stalin
Elections under 20th Century Dictatorships
Edited by Ralph Jessen and Hedwig Richter
Campus Verlag, 2011
Dictatorships throughout the twentieth century—including Mussolini’s Italy, the Third Reich, the Soviet Union, Poland, and East Germany—held elections. But were they more than rituals of participation without the slightest effect on the distribution of power? Why did political regimes radically opposed to liberal democracy feel the need to imitate their enemies? Offering significant insights into absolutist state governance, Voting for Hitler and Stalin thoroughly investigates the remarkable, paradoxical phenomenon of dictatorial elections, revealing the many ways they transcended mere propaganda.
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The Walls Behind the Curtain
East European Prison Literature, 1945–1990
Harold B. Segel
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2012
Because of their visibility in society and ability to shape public opinion, prominent literary figures were among the first targets of Communist repression, torture, and incarceration. Authors such as Alexsandr Solzhenitsyn famously documented the experience of internment in Soviet gulags. Little, however, has been published in the English language on the work of writers imprisoned by other countries of the Soviet bloc.

For the first time, The Walls Behind the Curtain presents a collection of works from East European novelists, poets, playwrights, and essayists who wrote during or after their captivity under communism. Harold B. Segel paints a backdrop of the political culture and prison and labor camp systems of each country, detailing the onerous conditions that writers faced. Segel then offers biographical information on each writer and presents excerpts of their writing. Notable literary figures included are Václav Havel, Eva Kanturková, Milan Šimecka, Adam Michnik, Milovan Djilas, Paul Goma, Tibor Déry, and Visar Zhiti, as well as many other writers.

This anthology recovers many of the most important yet overlooked literary voices from the era of Communist occupation. Although translated from numerous languages, and across varied cultures, there is a distinct commonality in the experiences documented by these works. The Walls Behind the Curtain serves as a testament to the perseverance of the human spirit and a quest for individual liberty that many writers forfeited their lives for.

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When Markets Fail
Social Policy and Economic Reform
Ethan B. Kapstein
Russell Sage Foundation, 2002
The sweeping political and economic changes of the past decade—including the spread of democracy, pro-market policies, and economic globalization—have dramatically increased the demand in developing countries for social programs such as unemployment compensation, pensions, and income supplements for the poor. When Markets Fail examines how emerging market economies in Eastern Europe, Latin America, North Africa, and the Middle East are shaping their social policies in response to these changes. The contributors—leading scholars of development and social policy—use detailed case studies to examine whether the emerging economies are likely to move toward European-style welfare systems, characterized by high unemployment benefits and large entitlements, or if they will opt for more austere, stripped-down welfare regimes. They find that much will depend on how well emerging economies perform economically, but that the political forces, ideological preferences, and historical backgrounds of each country will also play a decisive role. In his chapter on Central and Eastern Europe, Peter Lindert focuses on how aging populations and the fall of communism have fostered increased need for social assistance in the region. In contrast, Nancy Birdsall and Stephen Haggard highlight the positive role of democratization and Western-style social programs in promoting East Asian social policies. Zafiris Tzannatos and Iqbal Kaur argue that governments in North Africa and the Middle East must foster both human capital formation and competition in the market for social services if they are to meet the growing need for services. When Markets Fail presents some evidence that a global convergence in social policies may be taking place: as Europe slowly makes its welfare provisions less generous, the emerging market economies will be under increasing demographic and political pressure to make their social welfare systems more comprehensive. The book also examines the vital role that organizations such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the Asian Development Bank can play in fostering effective social services in developing economies. Economic globalization and political liberalization have produced many economic winners around the world, but these forces have created losers as well. When Markets Fail addresses the problem of how governments in developing countries have responded to the plight of those losers through social policy. The success of these policies, however, remains sharply contested, as is their role in helping to achieve meaningful poverty reduction. When Markets Fail is essential reading for anyone interested in economic liberalization and its consequences for the developing world.
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Women, State, and Party in Eastern Europe
Sharon L. Wolchik and Alfred Meyer, eds.
Duke University Press, 1985
These essays, by American, Canadian, and East European scholars, provide a comprehensive look at the status of women in Eastern Europe, with particular emphasis on the postwar situation.
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Worlds of Dissent
Jonathan Bolton
Harvard University Press, 2012

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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