Central and southeastern Europe in transition. Perspectives on success and failure since 1989

Author (Person)
Publication Date 2000
ISBN 0-275-96460-4
Content Type

Book abstract:

Central and southeastern Europe in transition examines the fundamental political and economic changes that this large and diverse region has faced over the past decade. These changes have been brought about at the same time as major technological and social change has been taking place in the rest of the world. Thus at a time when the former Communist systems have been attempting to adapt at some speed to a market-driven, democratic system, countries already under this system have themselves been evolving at a rapid pace. The book has arisen out of a project to develop a lecture series entitled Central and southeastern Europe in transition: examining success and failure since 1989, under the auspices of the International Affairs Department of the American University of Paris, with key financial support from the Center for the Study of International Communication. Many of the contributors to the lecture series have chapters included in this book.

The chapters cover both regions and themes. Chapter one provides a general introduction, discussing the place of this region within Europe, and how identities are defined in the post-1989 era. Chapter two traces historical west European and Russian attitudes towards the Balkans and chapter three looks at the legacy of the Ottoman Empire in the same region. In the fourth chapter, the importance of culture is examined, and chapters five and six look at the role of the media, and its relationship with politicians. In chapter seven, which covers economic reforms, the focus is mainly on the role of finance capital and the transfer of ownership to the private sector. Chapter eight provides an account of the global drug wars as they affect the Balkan region and chapter nine looks at environmental issues, and the damage done by the Communist system to the ecology of the region. In the final chapter, the complexity of factors that led NATO to enlarge into central Europe is covered. The book concludes with an extensive bibliography that lists some of the most useful books and periodicals on the region.

This is a timely and useful book, published as it is when many of the fundamental issues are still being debated and choices are still being made.

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