1st Edition

East Central Europe and the Former Soviet Union Environment and Society

By David Turnock Copyright 2001
    288 Pages
    by Routledge

    Since 1898, the former communist countries of Eastern Europe have gained international prominence. The continuing socio-economic transition and the instability evident in areas like the Caucasus and Former Yugoslavia have drawn the western world into uneasy interactions with the region. At the same time, closer commercial and cultural contacts are providing opportunities for rewarding relationships which have now resulted in many of these countries joining the EU.

    This book provides detailed coverage of the transition from communism to a market economy. Covering the whole range of East Central European and former Soviet Union countries, it charts the diversity within the region, offering in-depth coverage of specific areas as well as a broad view of development across the region. The book is organised into three comprehensive sections: the historical, socio-economic and environmental. The socio-economic section considers the critical issues of restructuring to effect the transition from central planning to a market economy, while the historical material provides an essential context for the constraints and opportunities affecting the region. The environmental section places emphasis on results of environmental neglect inherited from communism as well as looking to the future implications of EU directives on the problems of biodiversity and pollution in the region.

    Part 1 - Historical-cultural legacies / The states system and the shaping of the ethnic guilt / Twentieth century geopolitics as the base of Soviet planning / Development cycles and the role of the railway / Phases of urbanisation and changing town-country relations / Part 2 - Contemporary human processes / Ethnicity / Trade and foreign relations / Agrarian change / Industrial restructuring / Urban systems / Rebuilding the service sector / Transport integration and the creation of missing links / Competition between the regions / Part 3 - Environmental management / Communist plans to transform the landscape / Major ecological dislocations / Towards a sustainable agriculture / Industry, pollution and sensitive environments / Power and the nuclear question / Biosphere reserves, national parks and urban conservation.


    David Turnock is Emeritus Professor of Human Geography at the University of Leicester, UK.