Today Europe stands at a crossroads unlike any it has faced since 1945. Since the 2008 financial crash, Europe has weathered the Greek debt crisis, the 2015 refugee crisis, and the identity crisis brought about by Brexit in 2016. The future of the European project is in doubt. How will Europe respond? Reform and revolution have been two forms of response to crisis that have shaped Europe’s history. To understand Europe’s present, we must understand that past. This interdisciplinary book considers, through the prism of several landmark moments, how the dynamics of reformation and revolution, and the crises they either addressed or created, have shaped European history, memory, and thought.
Communism in Eastern Europe is in crisis. Its dimensions are social and economic; its manifestation is political. This volume, a collection of essays by leading authorities, describes the symptoms of the crisis, diagnoses the causes of the malady, and offers alternative scenarios for therapy. A unique dimension of this collection is its avoidance of one-dimensional explanations. The contributors approach the subject from very different angles, and start from very distinct sociopolitical premises. The volume includes original accounts of unexplored aspects of East European communism as well as classic interpretations of the economic crisis and social stagnation that characterize the area. Contributions not only examine the sociopolitical behavior of the ruling apparatus, but also analyze its strategies, political culture, and the opposition. Both the professional and the general reader seeking more information about Eastern Europe will find this volume an extensive, in-depth portrait of the current situation in what many observers predict may develop into the major area of tension in post-World War II Europe. Ferenc Feher, a collaborator and friend of George Lukacs, was a leading member of the "Budapest School." Forced into exile in 1977, he was taught in Australia and is now in New York at the New School for Social Research. He has published widely, in several languages, on the philosophy of art, political theory, and history.
"Reconsidering the English, French, and Russian revolutions, this book offers an important approach to the theoretical and comparative study of revolutions. Stone proposes an innovative 'neostructuralist' synthesis of competing structuralist and postmodernist theory that marks a critical advance in our understanding of revolution"--
Soviet Foreign Policy and the Revolutions of 1989 in Eastern Europe
This report analyzes the collapse of Communist rule in Eastern Europe in 1989 and assesses the role of changes in Soviet foreign policy in precipitating this collapse. It finds that the preceding 40 years of economic and social failure by the Communist regimes, the illegitimacy of Communist rule, the consolidation of societal opposition, loss of confidence in the ruling elites, and the improvement in East-West relations created the conditions leading to the collapse of Communist rule. However, the change in Soviet foreign policy under Gorbachev was the precipitating event. Once change began, the removal of the Communist leadership in one country led to upheavals in others. The Soviet leadership did not foresee the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe; rather, it believed that the old regimes would be replaced by reformers. It also failed to see the unification of Germany as an outcome of the collapse of the Honecker regime. In the future, Soviet influence in Eastern Europe will be diminished but will not ebb to the low levels of the pre-World War II era. Economic and mutual security concerns will continue to tie Eastern Europe to the Soviet Union (or its successor), although much more loosely than in the past.
Only by understanding Central and Eastern Europe's turbulent history during the first half of the twentieth century can we hope to make sense of the conflicts and crises that have followed World War II and, after that, the collapse of Soviet-controlled state socialism. Ivan Berend looks closely at the fateful decades preceding World War II and at twelve countries whose absence from the roster of major players was enough in itself, he says, to precipitate much of the turmoil. As waves of modernization swept over Europe, the less developed countries on the periphery tried with little or no success to imitate Western capitalism and liberalism. Instead they remained, as Berend shows, rural, agrarian societies notable for the tenacious survival of feudal and aristocratic institutions. In that context of frustration and disappointment, rebellion was inevitable. Berend leads the reader skillfully through the maze of social, cultural, economic, and political changes in Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, Austria, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and the Soviet Union, showing how every path ended in dictatorship and despotism by the start of World War II.
History of Europe from the Fall of Napoleon in MDCCCXV to the Accession of Louis Napoleon in MDCCCLII by Sir Archibald Alison Bart D C L