Central and Southeastern Europe in Transition: Perspectives on Success and Failure since 1989

By Hall Gardner | Go to book overview

Chapter 1
In Search of East-Central Europe: Ten Years After

Jacques Rupnik

It is difficult to present the new contours of Europe for there does not yet exist a definite map. There is one in the making. There are a certain number of clues, however, as to what Central and Eastern Europe might look in the future. Central Europe, Eastern Europe, East-Central Europe, post-Communist Europe: many different terms have attempted to define the new expanse that appeared after the fall of the Soviet empire.

One thing seems certain: the term "people's democracies" of Eastern Europe, which prevailed for nearly half a century in some countries of Europe, was quite irrelevant at the time, and is even less relevant today.

Therefore, the political and economic geography of that zone must be seriously reconsidered--a task made even more difficult since it is in complete mutation.

Westerners, who had not particularly contributed to it, eventually found it convenient to view this "revolution" as an "event" with a beginning--the fall of the Berlin wall in November 1989--and an end--the demise of the Soviet Union in December 1991. Instead it is a process, and this great geopolitical reconfiguration of the East that began in 1989 is far from being over. It is likely to last, on the contrary, years, even decades! The fall of the Roman Empire or of the Ottoman Empire lasted nearly two centuries. How could the fall of the Soviet empire have lasted only a couple of years?

Behind the label "East of Europe," which designated only countries of the Soviet bloc until 1989, two new zones are beginning to take shape since that year: a Central European area (the "success story" of the transition); a Balkan area (where the national question seems to be the determining factor); and Russia (but what is Russia without an empire?). Each one of these areas possesses very imprecise borders, while the problems that define each one of them are now very different.

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Central and Southeastern Europe in Transition: Perspectives on Success and Failure since 1989
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Foreword vii
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Introduction 1
  • Chapter 1 in Search of East-Central Europe: Ten Years After 5
  • Notes 19
  • Chapter 2 the Balkans: A Distorted, Third World Reflection of Europe 21
  • Notes 28
  • Chapter 3 Rusty Ottoman Keys to the Balkans of Today 31
  • Notes 42
  • Chapter 4 the Role of Culture Under the Communist and Post-Communist Eras 43
  • Chapter 5 the Transformation of the Media in Post-Communist Central Europe 51
  • Notes 60
  • Chapter 6 the Media in Transition in Southern Central Europe 61
  • Notes 73
  • Chapter 7 a Balance of Economic Reforms in Central and Eastern Europe 75
  • Notes 92
  • Chapter 8 Ulysses and the Lotus Eaters 97
  • Notes 110
  • Chapter 9 Environmental Security and Civil Society 113
  • Notes 142
  • Chapter 10 the Genesis of Nato Enlargement and of War "Over" Kosovo 151
  • Introduction 151
  • Notes 181
  • Name Index 199
  • Subject Index 203
  • Contributors and Editors 209
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