This book discusses how societies, groups and individuals remember and make sense of global neoliberal change in Eastern Europe. Such an investigation is all the more timely as the 1990s are increasingly looked to for answers explaining the populist and nationalist turn across the globe.
The volume shows how the key processes that impacted many lives across the social spectrum in Eastern Europe, such as deindustrialization, privatization, restitution and abrupt social reorganization, are collectively remembered across society today and how memory narratives of the 1990s contribute to current identities and political climate. This volume establishes the memory of economic transformation as a research focus in its own right. It investigates different levels of memory, from the national through the local to the cultural, analysing key myths of the transformation, giving special recognition to the social space and vernacular memories of the transformation period and reflecting on how the changes of the 1990s are mediated in cultural representations.
Given the book’s interdisciplinary scope that covers several fields, it will prove to be of interest to those working in memory studies, contemporary history, sociology, East European area studies and literary and film studies. It will also serve as a significant point of reference for those researching the interdisciplinary and rapidly expanding field of transformation studies and thus is an invaluable source across different fields.
- Neoliberalism, Eastern Europe and collective memory: setting the framework
- Shock therapy mythologies: contested memories of Poland’s Balcerowicz Plan
- A recurring bone of contention: the memory politics of Slovakia’s economic transformation
- From communism to neoliberalism: conflated memories of Bulgaria’s corrupted transition
- Political uses of memory of the early period of the post-Soviet transformations in contemporary Russia
- Regimes of truth and the discontent of memories: self-deception and denial during the growing together of the two Germanies
- Economic change, skills and the shifting horizons of social recognition: East German and Czech care workers remember the disruptive 1990s
- ‘The lost years’: gender, citizenship and economic change in Romania during the long 1990s
- 'There was no more work, no more life, no more anything…': Hungarian workers’ memories of the neoliberal transition
- How the Polish business elite remembers the neoliberal turn
- The neoliberal turn in biographical narratives of young people in Poland
- Privatization comedies as media of memory of the Czech(oslovak) economic transformation
- Screening the criminal underworld of capitalist nation-state making: Dogs and memory of the 1990s in Poland
- The moral right to economic crime: remembering the Russian 1990s in a tragic mode in Alexei Ivanov’s Nasty Weather [Nenast’e]
- Films without a viewer: Ukrainian filmmakers and memory of the neoliberal turn in the post-Soviet space
- The German ‘floating gap’: post-unification memory in literary fiction
- ‘We’re rushing towards capitalism like the Titanic towards a fucking iceberg’: representations of East German (social) transformation in films and TV series from the 2000s until today
Joanna Wawrzyniak and Veronika Pehe
Part I. Founding myths and counter-narratives of the transformation
Tom Junes and Ivo Iliev
Part II. Vernacular memories and biographical narratives
Kamil Lipiński and Joanna Wawrzyniak
Adam Mrozowicki and Justyna Kajta
Part III. Cultural memory of economic change
Olga Gontarska and Veronika Pehe
Joanna Jabłkowska and Magdalena Saryusz-Wolska
18. Memories of the neoliberal turn in comparative perspective: a research agenda
Veronika Pehe and Joanna Wawrzyniak
"This revolutionary book goes back to the long-forgotten origin of memory studies by considering people's economic situations as the main frameworks of remembrance. It draws a very much needed and urgent agenda not only for Eastern Europe but for the whole world."
- Sarah Gensburger, French National Center for Scientific Research - Sciences Po Paris