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Historical analysis of the German Democratic Republic has tended to adopt a top-down model of the transmission of authority.

Drawing on a broad range of archival material from state and SED party sources as well as Stasi files and individual farm records along with some oral history interviews, this book provides a thorough investigation of the transformation of the rural sector from a range of perspectives.

Focusing on the region of Bezirk Erfurt, the author examines on the one hand how East Germans responded to the end of private farming by resisting, manipulating but also participating in the new system of rural organization.

The Political Economy of Transition in Post‐Socialist Systems: The Case of the Baltic States

However, he also shows how the regime sought via its representatives to implement its aims with a combination of compromise and material incentive as well as administrative pressure and other more draconian measures. The reader thus gains valuable insight into the processes by which the SED regime attained stability in the s and yet was increasingly vulnerable to growing popular dissatisfaction and economic stagnation and decline in the s, leading to its eventual collapse.

Highlighting the seminal role of German Jewish intellectuals and ideologues in forming and transforming the modern Jewish world, this volume analyzes the political roads taken by German Jewish thinkers; the impact of the Holocaust on the Central and East European Jewish intelligentsia; and the conundrum of modern Jewish identity.

Inspired by Steven E. More generally, this book examines how Central European Jewish thinkers reacted to the terrible crises of the twentieth century—to war, genocide, and the existential threat to the very existence of the Jewish people.


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It is essential reading for those interested in the triumphs and tragedies of modern European Jewry. This policy—successful at the outset—in the long-term proved to be detrimental for the regimes because it shifted working class political consciousness to the right while it effectively excluded leftist alternatives from the public sphere.

This book argues that this policy can provide the key to understanding of the collapse of the regimes.

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The Remaking of Eurasia

Analyzing women as subjects and agents, the book examines how they negotiated the challenges that arose as Romanian society modernized, even as it clung to traditional ideas about gender. Not only do his films address crucial historical, social and political issues; the complexity of his work is reinforced by the incorporation of the elements of major film and art movements.

It is the reworking of these different elements by Wajda, as the author shows, which give his films their unique visual and aural qualities. In , the Armenians were exiled from their land, and in the process of deportation 1.

The annihilation of the Armenians was the archetype of modern genocide, in which a state adopts a specific scheme geared to the destruction of an identifiable group of its own citizens. Official German diplomatic documents are of great importance in understanding the genocide, as only Germany had the right to report day-by-day in secret code about the ongoing genocide.

The motives, methods, and after-effects of the Armenian Genocide echoed strongly in subsequent cases of state-sponsored genocide. Studying the factors that went into the Armenian Genocide not only gives us an understanding of historical genocide, but also provides us with crucial information for the anticipation and possible prevention of future genocides. Through careful readings of this varied cultural output, The Art of Resistance traces the aesthetic styles and strategies deployed during this time, providing critical context for understanding modern Austrian history as well as the European protest movements of today.

This volume, the first of its kind in English, brings together scholars from different disciplines who address the history of women in Austria, as well as their place in contemporary Austrian society, from a variety of theoretical and methodological perspectives, thus shedding new light on contemporary Austria and in the context of its rich and complicated history. In writings about travel, the Balkans appear most often as a place travelled to. However, the Balkans have also long been travelled from. The highland region of the republic of Georgia, one of the former Soviet Socialist Republics, has long been legendary for its beauty.

It is often assumed that the state has only made partial inroads into this region, and is mostly perceived as alien.


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  6. Taking a fresh look at the Georgian highlands allows the author to consider perennial questions of citizenship, belonging, and mobility in a context that has otherwise been known only for its folkloric dimensions. Scrutinizing forms of identification with the state at its margins, as well as local encounters with the erratic Soviet and post-Soviet state, the author argues that citizenship is both a sought-after means of entitlement and a way of guarding against the state.

    This book not only challenges theories in the study of citizenship but also the axioms of integration in Western social sciences in general. The essays offer the reader an insight into the work of a film theorist whose German-language publications have been hitherto unavailable to the film studies audience in the English-speaking world.

    The expectations, dreams, and hopes that ordinary Eastern Europeans had when they took to the streets in , and have had ever since, have therefore been overlooked — and our understanding of the changes in post-communist Europe has remained incomplete. Focusing primarily on five key areas, such as the heritage of revolutions, ambivalence, disillusionment, individualism, and collective identities, this book explores the expectations and goals that ordinary Eastern Europeans had during the revolutions and the decade thereafter, and also the problems and disappointments they encountered in the course of the transformation.

    The analysis is based on extensive interviews with university students and young intellectuals in the Czech Republic, Eastern Germany and Estonia in the s, which in themselves have considerable value as historical documents. With the fall of the Berlin Wall in November , four decades of separation seemed to have been brought to an end. In the literary arena as in many others, this seemed to be the surprising but ultimately logical end to the situation in which, after the extreme separation of the two Germanies' literatures during most of the period up to , an increasing closeness could be observed during the s, as relations between the two German states normalized.

    With the opening up of the East in the Autumn of claims were being made, on the one hand, that German literature had never, in fact, been divided, while others were proclaiming the end of East and West German literatures as they had existed, and the beginning of a new era.

    This volume examines these claims and other aspects of literary life in the two Germanies since , with the hindsight born of unification in , as well as looking at certain aspects of developments since the fall of the Wall, when, as on East German put it in , rapprochement came to an end. During the First World War, the Jewish population of Central Europe was politically, socially, and experientially diverse, to an extent that resists containment within a simple historical narrative.

    While antisemitism and Jewish disillusionment have dominated many previous studies of the topic, this collection aims to recapture the multifariousness of Central European Jewish life in the experiences of soldiers and civilians alike during the First World War. Here, scholars from multiple disciplines explore rare sources and employ innovative methods to illuminate four interconnected themes: minorities and the meaning of military service, Jewish-Gentile relations, cultural legacies of the war, and memory politics.

    Their main concern then was with political and socioeconomic structures, institutions, and organizations, or—more recently—with the daily lives of ordinary people and small communities. The contributors to this volume—all well known senior historians—offer self-critical reflections on problems they encountered when writing biographies themselves.

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    Some of them also deal with topics specific to Central Europe, such as the challenges of writing about the lives of both victims and perpetrators. Contributors: Volker R. During the 19th century the Balkan countries became the subject of a rather romantic fascination for the public at large.

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    This vision of the area has been created in large measure by the writing of women travelers such as those represented in this volume. The achievements of these women are quite remarkable: in many cases their travels were adventurous, and even dangerous, reaching into parts of the countryside which were remote and hardly known to outsiders. Not only as travelers but also in the fields of medical and military service, scholarship and education, journalism and literature, did these women contribute in very significant ways to the expansion of women's horizons and to the attempt to gain greater freedom for women in society in general.

    Cultural life in the former German Democratic Republic GDR was strictly controlled by the ruling party, the SED, who attempted to dictate how people spent their free time by prohibiting privately organized leisure time pursuits and offering instead cultural activities in state institutions and organizations.

    Gradually, these developments affected SED cultural policy, which in the s became less focused on educationalist goals and increasingly oriented towards popular interests. His diaries from that period, unpublished and largely overlooked until now, represent a distinctive and powerful record of daily life on the Eastern Front. In addition to key events such as the Brusilov Offensive, Bardach also gives memorable descriptions of military personalities, refugees, food shortages, and the uncertainty and boredom that inescapably attended life on the front.

    Ranging from the critical first weeks of fighting to the ultimate collapse of the Austrian army, these meticulously written diaries comprise an invaluable eyewitness account of the Great War. This remarkable study reopens the field. The national cinemas of Czechoslovakia and East Germany were two of the most vital sites of filmmaking in the Eastern Bloc, and over the course of two decades, they contributed to and were shaped by such significant developments as Sovietization, de-Stalinization, and the conservative retrenchment of the late s.

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    In much social scientific literature, Polish civil society has been portrayed as weak and passive. This volume offers a much-needed corrective, challenging this characterization on both theoretical and empirical grounds and suggesting new ways of conceptualizing civil society to better account for events on the ground as well as global trends such as neoliberalism, migration, and the renewal of nationalist ideologies.

    While historical and political aspects of the Russo-German relationship over the past three to four centuries have received due attention from scholars, the range of the far more diverse, important, and peculiar cultural relations still awaits full assessment. This volume shows how enriching these cultural influences were for both countries, affecting many spheres of intellectual and daily life such as philosophy and religion, education and ideology, sciences and their application, arts and letters, custom and language.

    The German-Russian relationship has always been particularly intense. Oscillating as it has between infatuation and contempt, it has always been marked by a singular paradox: a German cultural presence in Russia resulting either in a more or less complete fusion, as in the case of Russifield German, or in a pronounced mutual repulsion, accompanied by the denigration of each other's culture as inferior. It is this curious paradox that determines the perspectives of the articles that were specially written for this volume, providing it with a unifying focus.

    As she shows, humor provided a widely accessible means of negotiating an era of radical change. The end of World War II led to one of the most significant forced population transfers in history: the expulsion of over 12 million ethnic Germans from Central and Eastern Europe between and and the subsequent emigration of another four million in the second half of the twentieth century.

    Although unprecedented in its magnitude, conventional wisdom has it that the integration of refugees, expellees, and Aussiedler was a largely successful process in postwar Germany. While the achievements of the integration process are acknowledged, the volume also examines the difficulties encountered by ethnic Germans in the Federal Republic and analyses the shortcomings of dealing with this particular phenomenon of mass migration and its consequences.

    The ruling communist parties of the postwar Soviet Bloc possessed nearly unprecedented power to shape every level of society; perhaps in part because of this, they have been routinely depicted as monolithic, austere, and even opaque institutions. Communist Parties Revisited takes a markedly different approach, investigating everyday life within basic organizations to illuminate the inner workings of Eastern Bloc parties. Notions of magic and healing have been changing over past years and are now understood as reflecting local ideas of power and agency, as well as structures of self, subjectivity and affect.

    This study focuses on contemporary urban Russia and, through exploring social conditions, conveys the experience of living that makes magic logical. The hundred years between the revolutions of and the population transfers of the mid-twentieth century saw the nationalization of culturally complex societies in East Central Europe.

    This fact has variously been explained in terms of modernization, state building and nation-building theories, each of which treats the process of nationalization as something inexorable, a necessary component of modernity. The essays in this volume make us aware of how complex, multi-dimensional and often contradictory this nationalization process in East Central Europe actually was. The authors document attempts and failures by nationalist politicians, organizations, activists and regimes from through to give East-Central Europeans a strong sense of national self-identification.

    They remind us that only the use of dictatorial powers in the 20th century could actually transform the fantasy of nationalization into a reality, albeit a brutal one.