From Socialist to Post-Socialist Cities
Cultural Politics of Architecture, Urban Planning, and Identity in Eurasia
The development of post-socialist cities has become a major field of study among critical theorists from across the social sciences and humanities. Originally constructed under the dictates of central planners and designed to serve the demands of command economies, post-socialist urban centers currently develop at the nexus of varied and often competing economic, cultural, and political forces. Among these, nationalist aspirations, previously simmering beneath the official rhetoric of communist fraternity and veneer of architectural conformity, have emerged as dominant factors shaping the urban landscape. This book explores this burgeoning field of research through detailed cases studies relating to the cultural politics of architecture, urban planning, and identity in the post-socialist cities of Eurasia.
This book was published as a special issue of Nationalities Papers.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: From socialist to post-socialist cities: narrating the nation through urban space 2. Urban space, political identity and the unwanted legacies of state socialism: Bucharest’s problematic Centru Civic in the post-socialist era 3. Millennial politics of architecture: myths and nationhood in Budapest 4. The Southern Square in the Baltic Pearl: Chinese ambition and “European” architecture in St. Petersburg, Russia 5. “Civilizing the city center”: symbolic spaces and narratives of the nation in Yerevan’s post-Soviet landscape 6. The production of a new Eurasian capital on the Kazakh steppe: architecture, urban design, and identity in Astana 7. Leaving Lenin: elites, official ideology and monuments in the Kyrgyz Republic 8. City of felt and concrete: Negotiating cultural hybridity in Mongolia’s capital of Ulaanbaatar 9. In search of lost time: memory politics in Estonia, 1991–2011
Alexander C. Diener is an Associate Professor of Geography at the University of Kansas where he works in the field of political and social geography. His research explores the relationship between identity and place through the themes of geopolitics and borders, nationalism and transnationalism, mobility and migration, and urban landscape change. His regional expertise includes Central Asia, Russian borderlands, and Mongolia.
Joshua Hagen is Professor and Chair of the Geography Department at the Marshall University. His research focuses on the political geographic dimensions of nationalism, borders, international relations, totalitarianism, urban design, and historical preservation. He has worked on these issues in European, Eurasian, and North American contexts.