This long-needed text explores the other half of Europe_the new and future members of the European Union along with the problems and potential they bring to the region and to the world stage. Clear and comprehensive, it offers an authoritative and up-to-date analysis of the transformations and realities in Central and Eastern Europe, the Baltics, and Ukraine. Divided into two parts, the book presents a set of comparative country case studies as well as thematic chapters on key issues, including EU and NATO expansion, the economic transition and its social ramifications, the role of women, persistent problems of ethnicity and nationalism, and political reform. Leading scholars provide the historical context for the current situation of each country in the region. They explain how communism ended and how democratic politics has emerged or is struggling to emerge in its wake, how individual countries have transformed their economies, how their populations have been affected by rapid and wrenching change, and how foreign policy making has evolved. For students and specialists alike, this book will be an invaluable resource on the newly democratizing states of Europe.
Wolchik and Curry have assembled an all-star cast of experts for an authoritative assessment of the progress the region has made toward liberal democracy and a market economy in the last two decades. The book's particular strength is to cast the process in terms of a return to Europe. It thus pays attention not only to crucial developments in domestic politics but also to the influence of important international actors such as NATO and the European Union. Another exceptionally useful feature is the inclusion of essays that address important issues cross-nationally, as well as in-depth studies of each country individually, making the book especially valuable to students and scholars interested in the politics of the region and those interested in the interaction between domestic issues and global political and economic forces.
Slavic Review, Summer 2009
- Andrew Janos
This collection of essays is a useful text and reference book. These essays are at their best in serving both area study and political sociology.
This is a comprehensive, straightforward, and lucid overview of the paths taken away from communism by Central and East European states. The authors—Europeans and Americans who range from senior scholars to the youngest generation of specialists—effectively address the domestic and international influences on the course of political development in the former communist states. The book is highly recommended to anyone who wants a clear picture of a complex and important region and its constituent parts.
Part 1 Part I: Introduction Chapter 2 Democracy, the Market, and the Return to Europe: From Communism to the European Union and NATO Part 3 Part II: Policies and Issues Chapter 4 The Political Transition Chapter 5 Recreating the Market Chapter 6 Ethnicity, Nationalism, and the Expansion of Democracy Chapter 7 Women's Participation in Postcommunist Politics Chapter 8 EU Accession and the Role of International Actors Chapter 9 Security Issues: NATO and Beyond Part 10 Part III: Case Studies Chapter 11 Poland: The Politics of God's Playground Chapter 12 The Czech and Slovak Republics: Two Paths to the Same Destination Chapter 13 Hungary Chapter 14 The Baltic States: Remembering the Past, Building the Future Chapter 15 Bulgaria: Progress and Development Chapter 16 Former Yugoslavia and Its Successors Chapter 17 Romania Since 1989: Living Beyond the Past Chapter 18 Ukraine: Muddling Along Part 19 Conclusion Chapter 20 What Now?