Romania: The Unfinished Revolution

Romania: The Unfinished Revolution

Romania: The Unfinished Revolution

Romania: The Unfinished Revolution

Excerpt

In the early 1990s, a number of books were published that examined the transition from the Ceausescu regime to the National Salvation Front. At that time, there was a great deal of speculation concerning the origins of the Romanian revolution. Many questioned whether Romania had experienced a revolution or simply a coup. For example, the title of Nestor Ratesh's Romania: The Entangled Revolution pointed to both the importance and to the mystery surrounding the revolution. A decade later, many of these same questions concerning the revolution still persist. Rather than focus on the origins of the revolution, I believe that it is important to remember the goals that inspired many Romanians to give their lives. I subtitled this book The Unfinished Revolution because of the political, economic and foreign policy goals of the revolution that have yet to be fulfilled. This book attempts to provide an overview of the development of Romanian policies since 1989 and to place these policies within the context of Romanian political culture and the politics and economics of the new East Europe. The ideology and the geography of Europe have fundamentally changed since 1989. Eastern Europe was an ideological concept as well as a geographical location, both of which no longer exist, and Romania is searching for its place in this new East Europe. Throughout the book, I refer to 'Eastern Europe' when describing events prior to 1989. I have provided the Romanian names of organizations mentioned in the text and also their Romanian acronyms of organizations. These acronyms are those to be found commonly in the Romanian press.

This book is indebted to a number of people. Although I did not know it at the time, the book began while I was an undergraduate in an Eastern European politics course at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in the spring of 1989. The professor, William Crowther, stirred my interest in a region that I had never really thought about. His research focused on Romanian political development and influenced me to study the emerging Romanian post-communist institutions. More than any other professor or colleague, Bill has shaped the direction of my professional life. I also want to thank Jeff Chinn, Charles King, Robin Remington and Lavinia Stan.

1 Nestor Ratesh, Romania: The Entangled Revolution. (Westport, CT: Prager, 1991).

ROMANIA: THE UNFINISHED REVOLUTION

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