Transformations in Central Europe between 1989 and 2012: Geopolitical, Cultural, and Socioeconomic Shifts
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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.
The Tragedy of Central Europe in 1984, at the dawn of perestroika, which started in 1985 with the honest intention to liberalize planned soviet economy, and loosen communist ideological persecutions for freedom of speech, but without permission for national independence. Gorbachev’s perestroika did not foresee the end of Central European tragedy along with the collapse of the Soviet Union itself. However, Isaiah Berlin is also concerned with the quality of conditions while living in freedom. For
civilized manner was numerously challenged and provoked by the Soviet authorities. Peaceful good-bye to the Soviet Union was not welcomed. For instance, the most serious challenge was in Vilnius on January 13, 1991, when Soviet tanks threatened to crush thousands of unarmed Lithuanian citizens protecting the Parliament and the TV tower. On that fateful night the so-called OMON Special Russian Forces shot to death fourteen Lithuanians defending the TV tower unarmed. Interestingly, only in 2012
beggars turned into equal partners of Paris and Berlin, demonstrating that the opinion of Central Europe has to be taken into account seriously. Chirac meanwhile hurriedly named the Vilnius 10 as irresponsible children. Moreover, the French president even threatened with possible complications of becoming EU members. However, channels CNN and BBC reacted immediately with a positive evaluation of Central Europe for taking a pro-American stance. CNN and BBC marked that values of this European
network. Available at: http://www.eurozine.com/pdf/2005-05-03-gudkov-en.pdf, p. 7. 4. President of Latvia in Moscow Honours Victims of War and of Soviet Oppression. Baltic Review, June 30, 2010. Available at: http://baltic-review.com/2010/05/10/president-of-latvia-in-moscow-honours-victims-of-war-and-of-soviet-oppression 5. Kapustin, Boris & Kavaliauskas, Tomas. (2011) In Searh of a Post-communist Future. Eurozine. Available at: http://www.eurozine.com/articles/2011-06-22-kapustin-en.html 6.
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