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.
Spring, Lech Wałęsa Airport, 2007 The pilot announces “Spring has come All over Europe” The giant beside me Still prays For safe landing The weight—lifter Who put down his case Like a glass of champagne Dares not look out There’s a bundle of wrestlers Clamped to their seats In the back dreading The slightest of shocks The priest up and down Like a steward assures us If anything happens His route is up The rest of us Make it to land If at all In deep shock Today the
caused the trauma? But does one have to be traumatized in order to comprehend the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact for the Baltic States or massacre in Katyń? 1989 was a product of common Will. À la Hegelian Geist, the new historic revolution saturated the consciousness of East and Central Europe. The common political will of the peoples of the region determined the change by peaceful means, which is a sign of spiritual revolution, not military. It can be repeated, but hardly surpassed. But in order to
previous generations. It is in this light that the book by Tomas Kavaliauskas acquires particular importance. Despite the prolific output of transitology, political science, sociology, and other disciplines focused on the developments in postcommunist Central Europe in the past twenty years, very few works have attempted to paint an across-the-region picture of politics and society in this part of Europe embraced as a whole and with a decisively contemporary point of view. The picture of Central
Hungarians in Transylvania could have created another Transniestria. Happily, the two bloody days in the town of Targu Mures (or Tirgu Mures) did not escalate into a war. After all, eight people died and about three hundred were injured. But we can see how easily ethnic conflict might have warped the door for positive freedom after the fall of the Iron Curtain in Romania and Hungary, possibly in the all of Central Europe if the conflict had continued. When in Los Angeles on April 29, 1992,
Hungarian community on Slovak soil adjacent to Hungary and vulnerable to what Slovaks perceived to be a secret Hungarian agenda of expansion into countries inhabited by Hungarian minorities.” Interestingly, this offer “coincided with the 50th anniversary of the postWorld War II Czechoslovak government’s deportation of 70,000 Hungarians to Hungary as punishment for that government’s cooperation with the Nazis in the destruction of the Czechoslovak state in 1938 and 1939.” Lithuanian and