From Revolution to Uncertainty : The Year 1990 in Central and Eastern Europe book cover
1st Edition

From Revolution to Uncertainty
The Year 1990 in Central and Eastern Europe

ISBN 9780815351788
Published June 7, 2019 by Routledge
284 Pages

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Book Description

Throughout Eastern Europe, the unexpected and irrevocable fall of communism that began in the late 1980s presented enormous challenges in the spheres of politics and society, as well as at the level of individual experience. Excitement, uncertainty, and fear predicated the shaping of a new order, the outcome of which was anything but predetermined.

Recent studies have focused on the ambivalent impact of capitalism. Yet, at the time, parliamentary democracy had equally few traditions to return to, and membership in the European Union was a distant dream at best. Nowadays, as new threats arise, Europe’s current political crises prompt us to reconsider how liberal democracy in Eastern Europe came about in the first place.

This book undertakes an analysis of the year 1990 in several countries throughout Europe to consider the role of uncertainty and change in shaping political nations.

Table of Contents


List of Contributors


Włodzimierz Borodziej, Stanislav Holubec and Joachim von Puttkamer

Chapter 1

Groping in the dark: expectations and predictions, 1988–1991

Philipp Ther

Chapter 2

Catalysts of the collapse and of the transition, 1989–1990

Mary Elise Sarotte

Chapter 3

Poland and the collapse of the patron in 1989–90: as seen from the Polish embassy in Moscow

Włodzimierz Borodziej

Chapter 4

Tea with the primate: at the roots of political conflict in Poland

Joachim von Puttkamer

Chapter 5

Czechoslovakia’s year of decision: from the socialist revolution of 1989 to the ‘real’ revolution of 1990

James Krapfl

Chapter 6

Talkin’ bout a revolution: on the social memory of 1989 in Hungary

Éva Kovács

Chapter 7

A transition to what and whose democracy? 1990 in Bulgaria and Romania

Bogdan C. Iacob

Chapter 8

When the Slovenian Spring turned into a hot summer

Marko Zajc

Chapter 9

1990: building democracy in Yugoslavia and the danger of war

Marie-Janine Calic

Chapter 10

Transforming industry: on the corporate origins of post-socialist nostalgia in Poland

Joanna Wawrzyniak

Chapter 11

German reunification and the dynamics of migration

Tim Schanetzky

Chapter 12

The party is over: the identities and biographies of Czechoslovak and East German (post) communists in the year 1990

Stanislav Holubec

Chapter 13

Poland, the German question, and German unification, 1989–1991

Włodzimierz Borodziej

Chapter 14

The German question and its European solution

Wilfried Loth


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Włodzimierz Borodziej is professor of History at Warsaw University, Stanislav Holubec is a researcher at the Institute of History of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague, and Joachim von Puttkamer is professor of Eastern European History at Jena University and co-director of the Imre Kertész Kolleg.