European Socialist Regimes' Fateful Engagement with the West : National Strategies in the Long 1970s book cover
1st Edition

European Socialist Regimes' Fateful Engagement with the West
National Strategies in the Long 1970s

ISBN 9780367610104
Published August 1, 2022 by Routledge
290 Pages

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Book Description

This edited volume analyses European socialist countries’ strategy of engagement with the West and the European Economic Community in the long 1970s.

The book focuses on a time when the socialist regimes of Central and Eastern Europe banked their hopes for prosperity and stability on enhanced relations with the West. Crossing the traditional differences among diverse fields of historiography, it assesses the complex influence of European and global processes of transformation on the socialist elites’ reading of the international political and economic environment and their consequent decision-making. The volume also explores the debate in each country among and within the elites involved in policymaking as they elaborated this strategic view and coped with shortcomings and unexpected turns. A comparative analysis of national cases shows a shared logic and common patterns, together with national variations and a plurality of views on the desirability of exchanges with their capitalist neighbours and on the ways to promote them. The multinational coverage of seven countries makes this volume a starting point for anyone interested in each socialist state’s foreign policy, intra-bloc relations, economic strategy, transformation and collapse, relations with the European Community and access to the EU.

This book will be of much interest to students and researchers of Cold War Studies, European history, and International Relations.


The Open Access version of this book, available at, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license.

Table of Contents


Angela Romano and Federico Romero

1. Socialism Between Détente and Globalisation

Federico Romero

2. Pan-Europe: A Continental Space for Cooperation(s)

Angela Romano

3. Attraction and Repulsion: Hungary and European Integration

Pal Germuska

4. From ‘Economic Miracle’ to the ‘Sick Man of the Socialist Camp’: Poland and the West in the 1970s

Aleksandra Komornicka

5. Drifting Westward? East Germany and Integrated Europe

Maximilian Graf

6. Czechoslovakia’s Pan-European Relations during the "Long 1970s"

Pavel Szobi

7. Balancing between Socialist Internationalism and Economic Internationalisation: Bulgaria’s Economic Contacts with the EEC

Elitza Stanoeva

8. Romania Turns West: National and International Rationales

Elena Dragomir

9. From Liberalism to Under-Development: The Yugoslav Elites Facing Western European Economic Integration in the "Long 1970s"

Benedetto Zaccaria

10. Conclusions

Angela Romano and Federico Romero

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Angela Romano is Lecturer of International Political Economy, University of Glasgow, UK.

Federico Romero is Professor of Post-War European Cooperation and Integration, and Dean of Research at the European University Institute, Italy.