Communism in Eastern Europe is in crisis. Its dimensions are social and economic; its manifestation is political. This volume, a collection of essays by leading authorities, describes the symptoms of the crisis, diagnoses the causes of the malady, and offers alternative scenarios for therapy.
A unique dimension of this collection is its avoidance of one-dimensional explanations. The contributors approach the subject from very different angles, and start from very distinct sociopolitical premises. The volume includes original accounts of unexplored aspects of East European communism as well as classic interpretations of the economic crisis and social stagnation that characterize the area. Contributions not only examine the sociopolitical behavior of the ruling apparatus, but also analyze its strategies, political culture, and the opposition.
Both the professional and the general reader seeking more information about Eastern Europe will find this volume an extensive, in-depth portrait of the current situation in what many observers predict may develop into the major area of tension in post-World War II Europe.
Table of Contents
1. Social Theory, Civil Society, and the Transformation of Authoritarian Socialism 2. The Hungarian Reform Process: Visions, Hopes, and Reality 3. Reforming or Perfecting the Economic Mechanism 4. The Tragicomedy of Romanian Communism 5. The Polish Opposition 6. The Dilemmas of Dissidence: The Politics of Opposition in East - Central Europe 7. The "Second Society": Is There an Alternative Social Model Emerging in Contemporary Hungary? 8. Notes on Jaruzelski’s Poland 9. Yugoslav Society and "Socialism": The Present-Day Crisis of the Yugoslav System and the Possibilities for Evolution 10. Yugoslavia 1986 - 88: Transition to Crisis 11. Eastern Europe’s Long Revolution Against Yalta
Ferenc Feher, a collaborator and friend of Georg Lukacs, was forced in exile in 1977. He is now at the New School for Social Research, and has published widely in the areas covered in this volume. His latest book is a co-edited volume on Crisis and Reform in Eastern Europe.