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
Groping in the dark: expectations and predictions, 1988–1991
Catalysts of the collapse and of the transition, 1989–1990
Mary Elise Sarotte
Poland and the collapse of the patron in 1989–90: as seen from the Polish embassy in Moscow
Tea with the primate: at the roots of political conflict in Poland
Joachim von Puttkamer
Czechoslovakia’s year of decision: from the socialist revolution of 1989 to the ‘real’ revolution of 1990
Talkin’ ’bout a revolution: on the social memory of 1989 in Hungary
A transition to what and whose democracy? 1990 in Bulgaria and Romania
Bogdan C. Iacob
When the Slovenian Spring turned into a hot summer
1990: building democracy in Yugoslavia and the danger of war
Transforming industry: on the corporate origins of post-socialist nostalgia in Poland
German reunification and the dynamics of migration
The party is over: the identities and biographies of Czechoslovak and East German (post) communists in the year 1990
Poland, the German question, and German unification, 1989–1991
The German question and its European solution
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.