Transformations in Central Europe between 1989 and 2012: Geopolitical, Cultural, and Socioeconomic Shifts

Transformations in Central Europe between 1989 and 2012: Geopolitical, Cultural, and Socioeconomic Shifts

Tomas Kavaliauskas

Language: English

Pages: 236

ISBN: 0739197312

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Transformations in Central Europe between 1989 and 2012: Geopolitical, Cultural, and Socioeconomic Shifts by Tomas Kavaliauskas, is an in-depth study of the transformations in Central Europe in the years since the fall of Communism. Using a comparative analysis of geopolitical, ethical, cultural, and socioeconomic shifts, this essential text investigates postcommunist countries including Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and Slovenia.

Next to transitological interpretations, this study ventures upon negative and positive freedom (Isaiah Berlin) in Central Europe after two decades of post-communist transition. Kavaliauskas questions the meaning of completeness of postcommunist transition, both geopolitical and socioeconomic, when there are many transformations that do not necessarily mean unequivocal progress. The author also analyses why Central Europe in 1989, armed with civil disobedience, could not maintain its moral politics. But the book touches sensitive issues of memory as well: an examination of May 9th is provided from the Russian and the Baltic perspectives, revealing two opposing world views regarding this date of liberation or occupation. Finally, Kavaliauskas analyzes the tragedy at Smolensk airport, which became an inseparable part of Central European identity. Transformations in Central Europe between 1989 and 2012 is an essential contribution to the literature on Central Europe and the lasting effects of Communism and its aftermath.

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in the even more dishonored and dreadful WWII context did not show Hamlet-like activity. If we are to believe in the accuracy of Wajda’s film Katyń, the execution scene of the 20,000 top Polish men does not even remotely resemble the tragedy of Hamlet: the Prince does something, the Polish officers and soldiers are helpless as Wajda portrayed it. But his film is accepted by the Polish people and historians, and is considered to be classic. At this point yet another strange fact creeps forward:

independence, it was proposed at various times that anyone born in Estonia or participating in the independence movement could opt for Estonian citizenship if they so wished. But in the end, for ethnic Estonian nationalists, the urge to identify the independent state with the nation was too strong to withstand. Citizenship was granted outright only to those individuals born in Estonia before the 1940 annexation and to their descendants.[8] For Juan J. Linz and Alfred Stepan this means

warm and human? The words of European intellectuals resonate uncertainty since they can no longer grasp the essential pulse of the EU Idealistic politics. In this European home there is a lack of security. Missing the common warmth that springs from the fireplace of each community, doubting the authenticity of our own face, we experience fear and trembling. This is a paradox if we hold a view that Europe has been united in order to overcome such negative emotions. Where does this political

will of modern humans.[5] The Glimpse of an Enlightened Opportunity The saying “the glimpse of an enlightened opportunity” is more correct here than the Platonic encounter with the all illuminating Sun. Unlike the Sun in Plato’s allegory of the cave that embraces everything, the Iron Curtain before 1989 was only cracked. The light like water would have to find its way to break through. But the days were bleak and stark toiling and moiling for basic necessities in endless lines of

well-being society and the movement of the Situationists included Marxist anarchists because the light they saw did not mesmerize them. Instead they felt a mission to deconstruct it and to disclose its illusion. In academic literature we have a context for that: Guy Debord, Jean Baudrillard, and Herbert Marcuse as well as the Frankfurt school with T. Adorno and M. Horkheimer. They questioned the individual’s authenticity in capitalism. That kind of questioning East and Central Europeans learned

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