A wave-swept shore, remote, forlorn / here he stood, rapt in thought and drawn / to distant prospects.
The Bronze Horseman, Alexander Pushkin (1837) Photo from Senatskaya Ploshchad, St. Petersburg (2018)
Wolchik and Curry, Part I: Introduction (Democracy, the Market, and the Return to Europe: From Communism to the European Union and NATO).
The East-West border is always wandering, sometimes eastward, sometimes west, and we do not know exactly where it is just now…
(Jaan Kaplinski, 1987)
Geo-political framing and the ethno-national imagination (i.e. “historical mythology”)
Two German words: the hegemony of ‘Mitteleuropa’ versus the pluralism of ‘Zwischeneuropa’
Why study Eastern Europe?
***) Challenge Question: list every country in Europe opposed to Kosovo’s independence. What can this “simple” task tell us about the history and politics of (Eastern) Europe?
Read more: The Aftermath of the First World War on the Treaties of Versailles, Saint-Germain, Trianon, Neuilly, Sèvres, and Lausanne.
The Fable of the Fourteen Points: Woodrow Wilson and National Self-Determination by Trygve Throntveit (Diplomatic History, 2011)
The Undying Echo of the Past: The History of Empires and the Historical Memory Policy by Alexei Miller (2018)
Connecting politics and history in Eastern Europe: The Great Divide: Literacy, Nationalism, and the Communist Collapse by Keith Darden and Anna Grzymala-Busse (2006)
Richard E. Ericson, “The Classical Soviet-Type Economy: Nature of the System and Implications for Reform,’’ Journal of Economic Perspectives, Vol. 5, No. 4, Fall 1991, pp. 11-27. (You may skip stuff beginning with the “Implications for Reform” section.)
Katherine Verdery, “What Was Socialism and Why Did it Fall?,” pp. 19-38.
Vladimir Tismaneanu, “Understanding 1989: The Revolutionary Tradition Revisited,” East European Politics & Societies Vol. 24, No. 4, Nov 2014, pp. 644-middle of p. 648.
Often it is most difficult to explain large and complicated events in a few sentences or paragraphs. How would you answer the main question related to this week’s readings i.e. what is state-socialism and how/why did it collapse?
What explains the variation among the different forms of state-socialism found in communist Eastern Europe?
Could the collapse of state-socialism have been avoided? Why or why not? What forces or contradictions undermined the system in (select country)?
***) Challenge Question: what is the difference(s) between communism and state-socialism as a political–economic idea? Where does one place Leninism on this ideological spectrum?
Find out more about the Soviet collapse:
An interview with Berkeley Professor Emeritus Ken Jowitt on his own biography and The Individual, Charisma and the Leninist Extinction (1999)
Armageddon Averted book discussion (2001) with Professor Stephen Kotkin (Princeton)
The Struggle to Save the Soviet Economy book discussion (2018) with Professor Chris Miller (Yale/Tufts)
Thinking more critically about “civil society” with Grzegorz Ekiert, Jan Kubik, and Michal Wenzel: Civil Society and Three Dimensions of Inequality in Post-1989 Poland (2017)
As well as the effect of communism on post-communist political behavior: Communism’s Shadow: Historical Legacies and Contemporary Political Attitudes by Grigore Pop-Eleches
Find out more about the Russian Revolution:
On the historiography of the Russian Revolutions of 1917: Kritika Vol. 16, No. 4 (2015)
In The Footsteps Of Revolution photo essay on the centenary of 1917
Read more: John Reed, Ten Days that Shook the World (1919)
Listen more: Sheila Fitzpatrick, Was the Russian Revolution a Failure? lecture at the NYU Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia (2017)
Theory: Economic Content of Socialism in Lenin: Is It the Same as in Marx? a close reading of Lenin by Paresh Chattopadhyay (1991)
Pictures: Soviet youth camps revitalized in contemporary Russia: a photo essay
Wolchik and Curry, Chapter 2 (The Political Transition).
Jan Zielonka, “New Institutions in the Old East Bloc,” in Larry Diamond and Marc F. Plattner, eds., The Global Resurgence of Democracy. (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996), pp. 207-224.
Wolchik and Curry, Chapter 3 (Re-Creating the Market).
Mitchell Orenstein, “What Happened in East European (Political) Economies? A Balance Sheet for Neoliberal Reform,” East European Politics & SocietiesVol. 23, No. 4, Fall 2009, pp. 479-490.
Grzegorz Ekiert, Jan Kubik, and Milada Anna Vachudova, “Democracy in the Post-Communist World: An Unending Quest?,” East European Politics & Societies, Vol. 21, No. 1, March 2007, pp. 7-30.
Additional readings on democratic institutions and reforms in Eastern Europe:
The State against Society: Political Crises and Their Aftermath in East Central Europe by Grzegorz Ekiert (1996)
*A Politics of Institutional Choice: Post-Communist Presidencies by Timothy Frye (1997)
After the Break-Up: Institutional Design in Transitional States by Pauline Jones Luong (2000)
Reconceptualizing the State: Lessons from Post-Communism by Anna Grzymala-Busse and Pauline Jones Luong (2002)
The Russian Predicament: A Fresh Look at Semipresidentialism by Timothy J. Colton and Cindy Skach (2006)
Regime Diversity and Electoral Systems in Post-Communism by Jack Bielasiak (2006)
Additional readings on economic transitions in Eastern Europe:
Understanding Postcommunist Transitions by Leszek Balcerowicz (1994)
Winners Take All: The Politics of Partial Reform in Postcommunist Transitions by Joel S. Hellman (1998)
Making Transition Work for Everyone Report from the World Bank (2000)
How Politics and Institutions Affect Pension Reform in Three Postcommunist Countries by Mitchell A. Orenstein (2000)
Exploring an economic concept further: current account deficits in Eastern Europe by Aleksander Aristovnik (2006)
*25 Years of Transition: Post-Communist Europe and the IMF Regional Economic Issues Special Report by the IMF (2014)
*GDP Per Capita Evolution of Central and Eastern European EU Member States from StatsVault.EU (2017)
*Economic Transition Report 2016-17 from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD: 2017)
Classic readings on democratic institutions and reforms:
The Perils of Presidentialism by Juan J. Linz (1990)
Constitutional Choices for New Democracies by Arend Lijphart (1991)
Political Identities and Electoral Sequences: Spain, the Soviet Union, and Yugoslavia by Juan J. Linz and Alfred Stepan (1992)
Varieties of Democracy: ‘Proporzdemokratie’, ‘Consensus Democracy’, Liberal Democracy and Direct Democracy by Hanspeter Kriesi (2015)
Additional readings on electoral systems and party systems in Eastern Europe:
Introduction to Electoral Laws and Their Political Consequences by Arend Lijphart and Bernard Grofman (1986)
The Formation of Party Systems in East Central Europe by Herbert Kitschelt (1992)
Electoral Systems and the Number of Parties in Postcommunist States by Robert G. Moser (1999)
Democratic Consolidation in Eastern Europe Volume 1: Institutional Engineering ed. by Jan Zielonka (2001)
Hungary: Compromising Midway on a Mixed System by John W. Schiemann (2001)
Embodying Democracy: Electoral System Design in Post-Communist Europe by Sarah Birch et al. (2002)
Hungary: Holding Back the Tiers by Kenneth Benoit (2005)
*When Left Is Right: Party Ideology and Policy in Post-Communist Europe by Margit Tavits and Natalia Letki (2009)
Electoral Rules and Ethnic Representation and Accommodation: Combining Social Choice and Electoral System Perspectives by Bernard Grofman in O’Leary (2013)
*Analyzing the Dynamics of Post-Communist Party Systems by Herbert Kitschelt (2015)
Looking ahead: Populism in Central and Eastern Europe by Ben Stanley (OUP: 2017)
*Hoist On Their Own Petards? The Reinvention and Collapse of Authoritarian Successor Parties by Anna Grzymala-Busse (2017)
Votes from Seats: Logical Models of Electoral Systems by Matthew S. Shugart and Rein Taagepera (2018)
General resources on electoral system design and formulae:
Electoral System Design: The New International IDEA Handbook from International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (2005)
Wolchik and Curry, Chapter 6 (Transitional Justice and Memory).
Hillary Appel, “Anti-Communist Justice and Founding the Post-Communist Order: Lustration and Restitution in Central Europe,” East European Politics & Societies, Summer 2005, Vol. 19. No. 3, pp. 379-405.
Jan Elster, “On Doing What One Can: An Argument Against Post-Communist Restitution and Retribution,” pp. 566-568.
Adam Michnik and Václav Havel, “Justice or Revenge?” Journal of Democracy, Vol. 4, No. 1, January 1993, pp. 20-27.
Adam Michnik: There are two symbolic names for two different ways of thinking about what our attitude should be toward communists or people of the old regime. One is polemically called in Poland the “policy of the thick line” (polityka grubej kreski). [Former prime minister] Tadeusz Mazowiecki used this term in his first speech. He meant that a thick line should be drawn between the present and the past, and that competence and loyalty toward the new government should be the only criteria for evaluating public officials. He was then accused of wanting, by means of the policy of the thick line, to protect communists, criminals, thieves, and the like.
The other way originated in the Czech and Slovak Federative Republic (CSFR), and is symbolized by the term “lustration” [verification or screening], These are two opposite ways of thinking about those issues. What do you think about the philosophy offered by Mazowiecki and the one offered by the supporters of lustration?
What side of the debate do you support: justice or revenge?
Additional readings on transitional justice:
Primary source: The Power of the Powerless by Vaclav Havel (1978)
The Havel Regime Too Can Accuse You of Guilt detailing the case of Jan Kavan by Lawrence Weschler (1991)
The Haunted Land: Facing Europe’s Ghosts After Communism Book Review by Tina Rosenberg (1995)
The Politics of Investigating Past Human Rights Violations in Post-Communist States by Brian Grodsky (2007)
Panel discussion featuring Monika Nalepa on transitional justice in post-communist Europe and Tina Rosenberg comparing Latin American and Eastern European transitional justice for “Human Rights in the Post-Communist World: Strategies and Outcomes” at the Harriman Institute at Columbia University (2011)
Biography of Vaclav Havel: A Political Tragedy in Six Acts by John Keane (2012)
Post-Communist Transitional Justice: Framing the Subject by Eva-Clarita Pettai and Vello Pettai (2014) – Chapter 1 of Transitional and Retrospective Justice in the Baltic States (2014)
Transitional Justice in Eastern Europe: Present Dilemmas of the Communist Past by Brianna Brown (2014-2015)
Recently published: Public Memory and Communist Legacies in Poland and Russia by Mark Kramer and The Uses, Lessons, and Questions of Transitional Justice by Alexandra Vacroux in Transitional Justice and the Former Soviet Union: Reviewing the Past, Looking toward the Future eds. Cynthia M. Horne and Lavinia Stan (CUP: 2018)
Can Transitional Justice Improve the Quality of Representation in New Democracies? by Milena Ang and Monika Nalepa (2019)
Transitional Justice and Authoritarian Backsliding by Monika Nalepa (2020)
Excerpt from the forthcoming book Ritual Sacrifices? Transitional Justice and the Fate of Post-Authoritarian Democracies by Monika Nalepa (2020)
New Read: The State as a Firm: Understanding the Autocratic Roots of Technocratic Populism by Lenka Buštíková and Petra Guasti (2018)
Abstract: Why, when, and how does populism emerge in a stable democracy? This article investigates the political logic and ideological appeal of a rarely explored form of populism: technocratic populism. Technocratic populism uses the appeal of technical expertise to connect directly with the people, promising to run the state as a firm, while at the same time delegitimizing political opponents and demobilizing the electorate by instilling civic apathy. Technocratic populism is an anti-elite ideology that exploits competence to create the appearance of authenticity and proximity to ordinary people. It is less exclusionary than nativist or economic forms of populisms and its broad appeal is therefore arguably more threatening to representative democracy. In order to understand the appeal of technocratic populism, as well as why it arises at critical junctures when dominant ideologies are in turmoil, we argue that one must not ignore its historical roots, which shows that it transcends both regime changes and the traditional left–right divide. The article develops and examines these points using evidence from communist-era populist campaigns against “elitist” dissidents (from Charter 77) in the Czech Republic, and demonstrates how post-1989 politicians have exploited and also adapted ideas and strategies from the authoritarian past for the new democratic setting. The article highlights the adaptive character of technocratic populism across political regimes.
Interview: Democracy, Memory and Responsibility: An Interview with General Wojciech Jaruzelski from the Bipartisan Policy Center
Transitional justice in Bulgaria: Bulgaria: Wrestled to the Ground documentary by Al Jazeera “People and Power” (2014)
More on contemporary Bulgaria: Bulgaria’s Autocratic Model by Radosveta Vassileva (09/27/2018)
Wolchik and Curry, Chapter 5 (Ethnicity, Nationalism, and the Challenges of Democratic Consolidation).
Marci Shore, The Taste of Ashes. (New York: Crown, 2013), pp. 139-200.
Dena Ringold, “Roma and the Transition in Central and Eastern Europe: Trends and Challenges.” (Washington DC: The World Bank, 2000), pp. 10-34.
On Ethnicity and Nationalism:
Ernest Gellner on Defining “nation” (1983)
John Breuilly on Defining and Classifying Nationalism (1985)
Ernest Renan on What is a nation? (1996)
Brendan O’Leary on Ernest Gellner’s theories of nationalism (1998)
On Minorities in Eastern Europe:
European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages from the Council of Europe (1992)
Poverty and Ethnicity: A Cross-Country Study of Roma Poverty in Central Europe by Ana Revenga et al. (2002)
*Video: Marci Shore on The Totalitarian Legacy in the Post-Modern World (2016)
‘We don’t talk Gypsy here’: Minority language policies in Europe by William S. New, Hristo Kyuchukov, and Jill de Villiers (2017)
Wolchik and Curry, Chapter 17 (Ukraine).
Valerie J. Bunce and Sharon L. Wolchik, “International Diffusion and Post-Communist Electoral Revolutions”, Communist and Post-Communist Studies 39 (2006), pp. 283-304.
Lucan Way, “The Real Causes of the Color Revolutions”, Journal of Democracy, Vol. 19, No. 3, July 2008, pp. 55-69.
Valerie Bunce and Sharon Wolchik, “Getting Real About ‘Real Causes”, Journal of Democracy, Vol. 20, No. 1, January 2009, pp. 69-73.
More influential arguments about hybrid regimes and electoral manipulation
Delegative Democracy by Guillermo O’Donnell (1994)
The Menu of Manipulation by Andreas Schedler (2002)
*Regime Cycles: Democracy, Autocracy, and Revolution in Post-Soviet Eurasia by Henry Hale (2005)
Ukraine’s Orange Revolution by Adrian Karatnycky (2005)
Elections and Political Development in Central Asia by John Anderson (2007)
Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire? Post-Soviet Regime Changes in Comparative Perspective by Vladimir Gel’man (2008)
Elections Under Authoritarianism by Jennifer Gandhi and Ellen Lust-Okar (2009)
Electoral Protests and Democratization Beyond the Color Revolutions by Katya Kalandadze and Mitchell Orenstein (2009)
*Throwing Out the Bums: Protest Voting and Unorthodox Parties after Communism by Grigore Pop-Eleches (2010)
Competitive Authoritarianism: Hybrid Regimes after the Cold War (Introduction) by Steven Levitsky and Lucan Way (2012)
The Era of Electoral Authoritarianism Review Essay by Yonatan L. Morse (2012)
Kyrgyzstan: A Parliamentary System Based on Inter-Elite Consensus by Erica Marat (2012)
The Semblance of Democratic Revolution: Coalitions in Ukraine’s Orange Revolution by Mark Beissinger (2013)
Cracks in the Wall: Challenges to Electoral Authoritarianism in Russia by Vladimir Gel’man (2013)
Patronal Politics: Eurasian Regime Dynamics in Comparative Perspective by Henry Hale (2014)
Electoral Manipulation as Bureaucratic Control by Scott Gelbach and Alberto Simpser (2014)
*Pluralism by Default: Weak Autocrats and the Rise of Competitive Politics by Lucan Way (2015)
Deliver the Vote! Micromotives and Macrobehavior in Electoral Fraud by Ashlea Rundlett and Milan Svolik (2016)
*25 Years After the USSR: What’s Gone Wrong? by Henry Hale (2016)
The Sixth Time was Different: A Revolution Unfolds in Belarus by Volha Charnysh (August 2020)
A Very Belarusian Affair: What Sets the Current Anti-Lukashenka Protests Apart? by Natalya Chernyshova (September 2020)
Belarus Uprising: How a Dictator Became Vulnerable by Lucan Way (2020)
Nexta: The 22-Year-Old Blogger Behind Protests in Belarus in the Atlantic (2020)
Ivan Krastev, “Eastern Europe’s Illiberal Revolution”, Foreign Affairs, May/June 2018, pp 49-56.
James Dawson and Seán Hanley, “The Fading Mirage of the ‘Liberal Consensus’”, Journal of Democracy, Vol. 27, No. 1, Jan 2016, pp. 20-34.
More on ‘Illiberal Disillusionment’:
Is East-Central Europe Backsliding? The Strange Death of the Liberal Consensus by Ivan Krastev (2007)
What’s Wrong with East-Central Europe? Liberalism’s Failure to Deliver by Ivan Krastev (2016)
The Specter Haunting Europe: The Unraveling of The Post-1989 Order by Ivan Krastev (2016)
Explaining Eastern Europe: Imitation and Its Discontents by Ivan Krastev and Stephen Holmes (2018)
Wolchik and Curry, Chapter 9 (Poland); Chapter 11 (Hungary).
János Kornai, “Hungary’s U-Turn: Retreat from Democracy,” Journal of Democracy, Vol. 26, No. 3, July 2015, pp. 34-48.
Seán Hanley and James Dawson, “Poland Was Never as Democratic as It Looked,” ForeignPolicy.com, January 3, 2017.
Ireneusz Pawel Karolewski and Roland Benedikter, “Europe’s New Rogue States, Poland and Hungary: A Narrative and Its Perspectives,” Chinese Political Science Review, 2016.
John Oliver on the Hungarian Party System
Further case studies:
Hungary’s Illiberal Turn: Disabling the Constitution by Miklós Bánkuti, Gábor Halmai, and Kim Lane Scheppele (2012)
The Hollowing and Backsliding of Democracy in East Central Europe comparing Hungary and Latvia by Béla Greskovits (2015)
Poland‘s Conservative Turn of 2015: Where Are Its Real Origins? by Roland Benedikter and Ireneusz Pawel Karolewski (2015)
Post-Communist Mafia State: The Case of Hungary by Bálint Magyar (2016)
The Decline of Democracy in East-Central Europe: Hungary as the Worst-Case Scenario by Attila Ágh (2016)
Introducing the Debate: European Union Safeguards Against Member States’ Democratic Backsliding by R. Daniel Kelemen and Michael Blauberger (2016)
Europe’s Other Democratic Deficit: National Authoritarianism in Europe’s Democratic Union by R. Daniel Kelemen (2017)
Populism and the Erosion of Democracy in Poland and in Hungary working paper by Anna Grzymala-Busse (2017)
From Competition to Polarization: How Populists Change Party Systems to Concentrate Power working paper by Milada Anna Vachudova (2017)
Rethinking “Democratic Backsliding” in Central and Eastern Europe – Looking Beyond Hungary and Poland by Licia Cianetti, James Dawson, and Seán Hanley (2018)
De-Democratization in Hungary: Diffusely Defective Democracy by Matthijs Bogaards (2018)
How Democracy Dies (in Poland): A Case Study of Anti-Constitutional Populist Backsliding by Wojciech Sadurski (2018)
The Beginning of the End for Poland’s Populists? by Slawomir Sierakowski in the New York Times (2018)
Czech Democracy Under Pressure by Jiri Pehe (2018)
Understanding the Illiberal Turn: Democratic Backsliding in the Czech Republic by Seán Hanley and Milada Anna Vachudova (2018)
Wolchik and Curry, Chapters 7 and 8 (The EU and Its New Members: Forging a New Relationship; Security Issues: NATO and Beyond).
Milada Anna Vachudova, “Democratization in Postcommunist Europe: Illiberal Regimes and the Leverage of the European Union,” in Valerie Bunce, Michael McFaul, and Kathryn Stoner-Weiss, eds., Democracy and Authoritarianism in the Postcommunist World. Cambridge University Press, 2009, pp. 82-104.
Venelin I. Ganev, “Post-Accession Hooliganism: Democratic Governance in Bulgaria and Romania after 2007,” East European Politics & Societies, Vol. 27. No 1, February 2013, pp. 26-44.
EU Nuts and Bolts:
*How the European Union Works: The EU’s Guide to Itself
The European Union’s Guide for Americans
More on democracy and corruption within the EU:
Lessons from East Europe: Democratic Support and Corruption published November 13, 2018
Peter Pomerantsev, “The Big Chill: The Battle for Central Europe,” World Affairs Journal, January/February 2015.
Jeffrey Tayler, “The Seething Anger of Putin’s Russia,” The Atlantic, Sept 22, 2014.
Mitchell Orenstein, “Geopolitics of a Divided Europe,” East European Politics & Societies, Vol. 29, No. 2, May 2015, pp. 531-540.
More on Russia’s role in its near abroad:
Ukraine, Russia, and the Black Sea Fleet Accords by Tyler Felgenhauer (1999)
The Five-Day War: Managing Moscow After the Georgia Crisis by Charles King (2008)
War and Peace in the Caucasus: Russia’s Troubled Frontier by Cory Welt (2010)
Russia–EU Relations, or How the Russians Really View the EU by Sergey Tumanov, Alexander Gasparishvili, and Ekaterina Romanova (2011)
The Politics of Energy and Memory between the Baltic States and Russia by Agnia Grigas (2013)
Why the Ukraine Crisis Is the West’s Fault: The Liberal Delusions That Provoked Putin by John Mearsheimer (2014)
Did the West Provoke Putin? Apologists and Facts by Mariana Budjeryn (2014)
Russia, the West and the Integration Dilemma by Samuel Charap and Mikhail Troitskiy (2014)
A Broken Promise? What the West Really Told Moscow About NATO Expansion by Mary Elise Sarotte (2014)
Preparing for the Worst: Are Russian and NATO Military Exercises Making War in Europe More Likely? by Thomas Frear, Ian Kearns, and Łukasz Kulesa (2015)
Vladimir Putin: An Aspirant Metternich? by Mitchell Orenstein (2015)
Why Putin Took Crimea: The Gambler in the Kremlin by Daniel Treisman (2016)
Putin’s Foreign Policy: The Quest to Restore Russia’s Rightful Place by Fyodor Lukyanov (2016)
Russia’s Perpetual Geopolitics: Putin Returns to the Historical Pattern by Stephen Kotkin (2016)
The EU, Russia and the Potential for Dialogue – Different Readings of the Crisis in Ukraine by Pernille Rieker and Kristian Lundby Gjerde (2016)
Deal or No Deal? The End of the Cold War and the U.S. Offer to Limit NATO Expansion by Joshua R. Itzkowitz Shifrinson (2016)
Video: The New U.S.-Russian Cold War: Who is to Blame? debate between Stephen Cohen (NYU) and Michael McFaul (Stanford) [May 9, 2018]
Grzegorz Ekiert and Daniel Ziblatt, Democracy in Central and Eastern Europe One Hundred Years On, East European Politics & Societies, Vol. 27, No. 1, Feb 2013, pp. 90-107.
Jason Wittenberg, Conceptualizing Historical Legacies, East European Politics & Societies, Vol. 29, No. 1, May 2015, pp. 366–378.
Alberto Simpser, Dan Slater, and Jason Wittenberg, Dead But Not Gone: Contemporary Legacies of Communism, Imperialism, and Authoritarianism, Annual Review of Political Science, Vol. 21, May 2018, pp. 419-439.
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Russia in Global Affairs – Russian foreign policy and worldview on global affairs (from Russia)
Russian Analytical Digest – analyzes recent events, trends and developments within contemporary Russian politics, economics and business, foreign policy, security and society (from the Center for Security Studies at ETH Zurich)
EurActiv – EU news and more EU news based in Brussels
Reuters – truly international reporting based in London
VoxEurop – addressing urgent European affairs based in France
The Calvert Journal – Eastern European culture (music, art, literature, photography, architecture) based in London
Eurozine – “Europe’s leading cultural magazines at your fingertips”
How to Read Political Science: A Guide in Four Steps from Amelia Hoover Green, Drexel University (2013)
Three Templates for Introductions to Political Science Articles by Andrew Little (2016)