The State against Society: Political Crises and Their Aftermath in East Central Europe / Edition 1

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Overview

Classical images of state-socialism developed in contemporary social sciences were founded on simple presuppositions. State-socialist regimes were considered to be politically stable due to their pervasive institutional and ideological control over the everyday lives of their citizens, impervious to reform and change, and representative of extreme political and economic dependency. Despite their contrasting historical experiences, they have been treated as basically identical in their institutional design, social and economic structures, and policies. Grzegorz Ekiert challenges this notion in a comparative analysis of the major political crises in post-1945 East Central Europe: Hungary (1956-63), Czechoslovakia (1968-76), and Poland (1980-89).

The author maintains that the nature and consequences of these crises can better explain the distinctive experiences of East Central European countries under communist rule than can the formal characteristics of their political and economic systems or their politically dependent status. He explores how political crises reshaped party-state institutions, redefined relations between party and state institutions, altered the relationship between the state and various groups and organizations within society, and modified the political practices of these regimes. He shows how these events transformed cultural categories, produced collective memories, and imposed long-lasting constraints on mass political behavior and the policy choices of ruling elites. These crises shaped the political evolution of the region, produced important cross-national differences among state-socialist regimes, and contributed to the distinctive patterns of their collapse.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Winner of the 1996 Orbis Polish Book Prize, American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691011134
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 9/30/1996
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 448
  • Product dimensions: 6.08 (w) x 9.16 (h) x 1.06 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments
Ch. 1 Introduction: Political Crises, Mobilization, and Demobilization in East Central Europe 3
Pt. I The Political Crisis and Its Aftermath in Hungary, 1956-1963 37
Ch. 2 The Party-State and Society during the Hungarian Revolution 42
Ch. 3 The Soviet Invasion and the Defeat of the Revolution 65
Ch. 4 The Political Crisis, Demobilization, and Regime Reequilibration in Hungary 99
Pt. II The Political Crisis and Its Aftermath in Czechoslovakia, 1968-1976 121
Ch. 5 The Party-State and Society during the Prague Spring 126
Ch. 6 The End of Socialism with a Human Face 162
Ch. 7 The Political Crisis, Demobilization, and Regime Reequilibration in Czechoslovakia 198
Pt. III The Political Crisis and Its Aftermath in Poland, 1980-1989 215
Ch. 8 The Party-State and Society during the Solidarity Period 222
Ch. 9 Poland under Martial Law and After 257
Ch. 10 The Political Crisis and the Failure of Demobilization and Regime Reequilibration 283
Ch. 11 Conclusions: Patterns and Legacies of Political Crisis, Demobilization, and Regime Reequilibration in East Central Europe 305
Notes 331
Bibliography 405
Index 431
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