This title was first published in 2002. This useful collection brings together scholars from diverse standpoints to examine the transition from Communism a decade after it began. The result is a book that illuminates the changes, and particularly the problems, that have accompanied attempts to introduce representative democracy and a viable market economy into formerly Communist states. Specialist chapters on the Former Soviet Union, Russia, Poland, Azerbaijan and the former East Germany, institutional accounts of postcommunist states and conceptual chapters result in this volume being ideally suited to university courses, policy makers and NGOs that have an interest in transition countries.
Table of Contents
Contents: Introduction: Making sense of the transition from communism, David W. Lovell; Democratization and the development of civil society, David W. Lovell; State-transformation and postcommunist democratization, Ulrika Jerre; Direct democracy in postcommunist states: institutions and experiences since 1989, Michael BÃ¼tzer; Corruption, trust, and the danger to democratization in the former Soviet Union, Donald Bowser; Political culture in contemporary Russia: trapped between glory and guilt, Andreas Langenohl; Between two historic models of modernization: the case of Azerbaijan, Etibar Najafov; Building capitalism in Poland: some paradoxes, Maria Nawojczyk; German democracy and its East German discontents, Uta L. Schaub; Conclusion: The transition as a return to Europe, David W. Lovell and Heinz-Uwe Haus; Index.
’By now, the literature on transition is substantial.Â But the debates are as heated as ever, and new contributions are both welcome and necessary.Â This collection represents a serious and important addition to the polemic.Â It ranges widely, both thematically and country-wise - from politics to sociology, culture and economics, and from Russia and Azerbaijan to Poland and the former GDR.Â One of the most attractive features of the book is that it introduces a number of relatively young or unknown European and Canadian scholars to an English-speaking audience.Â Too many edited collections are simply thrown together by the editor(s) to maintain publication rates.Â Such a criticism cannot be made of this book.Â David Lovell has contributed substantially, both in writing approximately one third of the total words himself, and in keeping a tight - though not too restrictive - hand on the reins of his other contributors. The result is a coherent and polished work that casts new light on a number of important aspects of transition. There is a welcome emphasis in the book on political culture and democratisation. Partly in this context, post-communist transition is considered in the conclusions in terms of a return to Europe.Â While the argument put forward there by Lovell and Heinz-Uwe Haus can be challenged, it is an interesting and provocative position worthy of serious consideration; its focus on Europe as an identity as much as a geographical entity will resonate with many readers. In sum, this is a book well worth reading; even specialists sceptical about yet another book on transition will find there are in fact many fresh ideas and insights in it.’ Professor Leslie Holmes, President, International Council for Central and East European Studies, University of Melbourne, Australia 'Overall, this is a useful collection that highlights the continued complexity of the issues confronting governance in post-communist societies, providing m