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Christian Schweiger

With Brexit, the European Union has entered the first phase of unprecedented and potentially wider political disintegration. This is a reflection of the growing division between the EU’s core political agenda, defined under Germany’s increasingly uncompromising hegemonial leadership throughout the past decade, and the political preferences of the periphery in Southern and Central-Eastern Europe. This article critically examines the multiple effects of Germany’s dominant leadership role in the EU since the onset of the Eurozone sovereign debt crisis on the basis of a liberal intergovernmentalist perspective. It also considers future perspectives for German leadership in the EU after Brexit. As Angela Merkel enters her fourth term as German chancellor, she faces growing domestic political pressures and dwindling support for German leadership in the EU. German leadership is therefore more constrained than ever at a time when it is urgently needed to steer the EU away from further disintegration and towards lasting consolidation. The latter will require Berlin to engage profoundly in rebuilding a multilateral EU leadership constellation with France and Poland, which develops an inclusive policy agenda that represents the growing diversity of national interests amongst the remaining EU-27 member states.

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Rüdiger Pohl

The transformation process of eastern Germany began with the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 11, 1989. The time needed to formally replace the former socialist system with a market economy was short, not more than one year. But transformation should be defined in a broader sense and include the process of integrating the former socialist economies into the world markets and of establishing sustainable growth in that area. In that sense, the transformation of eastern Germany is far from finished (this is even more the case for central-eastern European economies).

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In and Out of the Cage

Women's and Gender History Written in Hungary in the State-Socialist Period

Susan Zimmermann

This article discusses writing on women's and gender history in the pre-1945 period, written and published in Hungary under state socialism. Education, struggle for social change, legal history, and the history of work formed the four most important clusters in this rich body of historiography. Considering the position of these publications in the state-socialist or Cold War period and in Central Eastern European historiography and their uneasy relation to gender history as established since the 1980s, we can characterize them as a triply marginalized body of writing. The article pinpoints how the authors connected the history of women and gender to larger processes of emancipation, other categories of analysis, and transnational perspectives in historical writing, and explores their contribution to the historiography of women and gender in the twentieth century and to the intellectual history of state socialism. It also discusses why this historiography has fallen into oblivion.