Post-communist transformation in the former Soviet bloc has had a profound effect, not just in the political and economic sphere, but on all aspects of life. Although a great deal has been written about transformation, much of it has been about transformation viewed from the top, and little has been written about how things have changed for ordinary people at the local level.
This book, based on extensive original research, examines the changes resulting from transformation at the local level in the form Czechoslovakia. It considers especially local democracy, social movements, and work collectives, and paints a picture of people gradually growing in self-confidence and taking more control of their communities, having lived for decades in a framework where so much was directed from the top.
Table of Contents
1. Transformation as Modernisation: Sociological Readings of Post-Communist Lifeworlds 2. Civil Society and Political Parties in the Czech Republic 3. Civic Forum and Public Against Violence: Agents for Community Self-Determination? Experiences of Local Actors 4. The Development of the Environmental Non-Governmental Movement in Slovakia: The Slovak Union of Nature and Landscape Conservationists 5. Dual Identity and/or 'Bread and Butter': Electronics Industry Workers in Slovakia 1995-2000 6. The Democratisation of Industrial Relations in the Czech Republic: Work Organisation and Employee Representation: Case Studies from the Electronics Industry 7. Local Community Transformation: The Czech Republic 1990-2000 8. Civic Potential as a Differentiating Factor in the Development of Local Communities 9. Group Strategies of Local Communities in Slovakia Facing Social Threats 10. Conclusion: The Narrativisation of Social Transformation
Simon Smith is a research lecturer in the Centre for Contemporary European Studies at the University of Paisley. His current research interests cover civil society, collective action, local culture, and local and regional government in Central and Eastern Europe.
'The book serves as a good introduction to Czech and Slovak sociology and presents an interesting account of the role of Czech and Slovak sociologists in the ongoing process of transformation, contrasting functional sociologies of an earlier era with activist sociologies of transition.' - Progress in Human Geography
'Local Communities and Post-Communist Transformation represents a set of solid empirical research findings, enlivened by Simon Smith's more wide-ranging ideas, which will be of interest to specialists on the Czech Republic and Slovakia, local politics and micro-economic transformation.' - SEER