The State against Society: Political Crises and Their Aftermath in East Central Europe

By Grzegorz Ekiert | Go to book overview

PREFACE AND
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

EXTRAORDINARY CHANGES are occurring in East Central European countries brought on by the spectacular collapse of state-socialist regimes in 1989, the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, and the rapid transition to liberal democracy and a market economy. The countries' domestic economic and political institutions have been recast, new political forces, parties, and organizations have emerged, private property and markets have been restored, and their social structures have been undergoing radical transformations. These domestic changes have been paralleled by a profound alternation in the international situation. The constraints that governed the global politics during the four decades following the Second World War disappeared with the collapse of the Soviet empire. This rapid unraveling of state-socialist regimes and Soviet-imposed regional institutions left scholars of East European affairs in a state of confusion and uncertainty. Do the knowledge, research, and theoretical approaches developed and accumulated over four decades of the existence of state-socialist regimes have any lasting values? Does the fact that the collapse of state socialism was so sudden and largely unexpected mean that we failed to understand and untangle the political and economic processes taking place in the region? Do the newly open archives reveal new facts that make our analyses and interpretations of events obsolete?

Albert Hirschman once noted that in social sciences “as soon as a social phenomenon has been fully explained by a variety of converging approaches and it is therefore understood in its majestic inevitability and perhaps even permanence, it vanishes.” 1 Does this statement reflect the situation of political scientists and sociologists working on contemporary Eastern Europe? State socialism certainly vanished from the European continent. Whether we were able to fully explain it is still an open question. The postmortem assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the field has been slowly emerging. 2 With a healthy dose of self-criticism, scholars emphasize contributions that added significantly to our understanding of state socialism. Ellen Comisso argues that “although our knowledge and understanding of 'actually existing' socialism is far from complete, it is also quite considerable, and that despite a multiplicity of models, characterizations, and labels, there exists a fairly broad consensus as to the essential features of communist systems, the way in which these features vary over time and place, and the causes of the variations.” 3 Moreover, despite well-known difficulties in conducting scholarly research under state-socialist regimes (i.e., almost total lack of access to documents and primary sources, censorship, political constraints on empirical research, etc.), recently opened archives have not yielded any significant

-ix-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The State against Society: Political Crises and Their Aftermath in East Central Europe
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 435

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.