This article explores the controversial issue of concepts defining the East-Central European Romanian and Hungarian identities (nem, neam, popor, nép). It specifically focuses on the translation and adaptation of the German concept of nation by examining the inclusive or exclusive meanings this concept acquired in these two languages and political cultures during the first half of the nineteenth century.
The Hungarian and Romanian Cases in the Nineteenth Century
On Central Concepts of Hungarian Postdissident Liberals
This article analyzes how five leading Hungarian postdissident liberal thinkers conceptually constructed their view of liberalism in the early years of postcommunism. Studying Beszélő, the most signi cant liberal journal during the early years of representative democracy, it shows how they did so through references to political “threats” and the idea of a “liberal minimum” (János Kis), local liberal and democratic traditions and “progressive patriotism” (Miklós Szabó), the ongoing “liberal-conservative revolution” and the creation of a “new political community” (Gáspár Miklós Tamás), antipolitics and “expertise” (György Konrád), and the “complete catalog of human rights” and the agenda of “modernization” (István Eörsi), respectively. Next to its conceptual analysis of heavily influential individual thinkers, the article discusses the ambition of postdissident Hungarian liberals to harmonize liberal and democratic tenets. Last but not least, it elaborates on the left-wing origins of many of their central concepts that, as suggested here, ultimately hindered liberalism's assumption of a central position in the new political system.
East-West Cleavages in Germany Thirty Years After Reunification
Thirty years on from the peaceful revolution in the former communist German Democratic Republic (GDR) Germany remains profoundly divided between the perspectives of Germans living in the eastern and the western parts of the country, which is becoming ever more obvious by the polarization of domestic politics. Hence, Germany today resembles a nation which is formally unified but deeply divided internally in cultural and political terms. This article examines the background to the growing cleavages between eastern and western regions, which have their roots in the mistakes that were made as part of the management of the domestic aspects of German reunification. From a historic-institutionalist perspective the merger of the pathways of the two German states has not taken place. Instead, unified Germany is characterized by the dominance of the institutional pathway of the former West German Federal Republic, which has substantially contributed to the self-perception of East Germans as dislocated, second-class citizens.
Over the past decade Germany has had one of the most successful
economies in the developed world. Despite the ongoing Euro crisis unemployment
has fallen below 7 percent, reaching its lowest levels since German
reunification in 1990. Germany’s youth unemployment is among the
lowest in Europe, far beneath the European average.1 One of the most
important engines of the German economy today, and in fact throughout
the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, has been its export sector. As Ludwig
Erhard, West Germany’s Economics Minister during the Wirtschaftswunder
of the 1950s remarked: “foreign trade is quite simply the core and
premise of our economic and social order.”2 According to various estimates,
today exports and imports of goods and services account for nearly a half of
German GDP—up from only a quarter in 1990. Germany is one of only three
economies that do over a trillion dollars worth of exports a year, the other
two being the United States and China.
The Hungarian and Czech Cases
Gabriela Dudeková Kováčová
Judith Szapor, Hungarian Women’s Activism in the Wake of the First World War: From Rights to Revanche, New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2018, 207 pp. 102.60 USD (hardback), ISBN 978-1-350-02049-8.
Iveta Jusová and Jiřina Šiklová, eds., Czech Feminisms: Perspectives on Gender in East Central Europe, Bloomington: Indiana University Press 2016, 325 pp., no price listed (hardback), ISBN 978-0-25302-189-2.
The European Social Model and Eastern Enlargement of the EU
This paper hypothesises that public support for the economic and political transformation in east-central Europe in 1989 was fuelled by enthusiasm for the reception of the (west) European Social Model, where the capitalist mode of production was combined with a high degree of social protection. In the first part of the article the author identifies the basic values of and the challenges to the European Social Model. Them he analyses the impact of the European Union on the transformation of east-central European social policy in the 1990s, and concludes that the negotiations concerning the accession of post-communist east-central European countries to the EU hardly contributed to the reception of the core values of the European Social Model in the new member states. Giving an overview of he social situation in the accession countries, the third part of the article calls the reader's attention to the alarming differences regarding the quality of life between the EU Fifteen and the new member states. In the final part, the author raises questions about the European Union's capacity to preserve the European Social Model, taking reactions of the members states to post-enlargement fears of social gaps between the east and west of Europe into consideration.
An Essential Resource
Rochelle Goldberg Ruthchild
Women and Gender in Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, and Eurasia. A Comprehensive Bibliography. Volume I. Southeastern and East Central Europe. Edited by Irina Livezeanu with June Pachuta Farris for the Association for Women in Slavic Studies (AWSS), Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 2007, xvi + 892 pp., (hb) ISBN 978-0-76560-737-9.
Women and Gender in Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, and Eurasia. A Comprehensive Bibliography. Volume II. Russia, the Non-Russian Peoples of the Russian Federation, and the Successor States of the Soviet Union. Edited by Mary Zirin and Christine D. Worobec for the Association for Women in Slavic Studies, Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 2007, xix + 1200 pp., $388.95 (for both volumes together), hb; ISBN 978-0-76560-737-9.
This article explores how the fluctuating cartography of East and West and the varying degrees of perceptive Europeanness influence everyday practices of the people working in Polish state bureaucracies, who professionally advance European integration within a national framework. While an important part of their self-image is formed through the dissociation from cultural 'Eastness' and the backwardness they ascribe to fellow citizens, they still experience negative stereotyping and mistrust from the part of the EU-15 'Westerners'. Consequently, East-Central European state officials oscillate on the continuum between cultural 'East' and 'West' and constantly negotiate distance, relatedness and thus their own liminal position. By scrutinising how Polish state officials aim at positioning themselves on the mental map of Europe, this article shows that they attempt to escape the cultural pattern of negative stereotyping and mistrust by using a functionalist narrative of efficiency. This is a rhetorical strategy employed to cope with existing asymmetries.
Since the end of the Cold War and the reconfiguration of the map of
Europe, scholars across the disciplines have looked anew at the geopolitical
and geocultural dimensions of East Central Europe. Although geographically
at the periphery of Eastern Europe, Germany and its changing discourses
on the East have also become a subject of this reassessment in
recent years. Within this larger context, this special issue explores the
fraught history of German-Polish border regions with a special focus on
contemporary literature and film.1 The contributions examine the representation
of border regions in recent Polish and German literature (Irene
Sywenky, Claudia Winkler), filmic accounts of historical German and Polish
legacies within contemporary European contexts (Randall Halle, Meghan
O’Dea), and the role of collective memory in contemporary German-Polish
relations (Karl Cordell). Bringing together scholars of Polish and German
literature and film, as well as political science, some of the contributions
also ponder the advantages of regional and transnational approaches to
issues that used to be discussed primarily within national parameters.
Adriana Zaharijević, Kristen Ghodsee, Efi Kanner, Árpád von Klimó, Matthew Stibbe, Tatiana Zhurzhenko, Žarka Svirčev, Agata Ignaciuk, Sophia Kuhnle, Ana Miškovska Kajevska, Chiara Bonfiglioli, Marina Hughson, Sanja Petrović Todosijević, Enriketa Papa-Pandelejmoni, Stanislava Barać, Ayşe Durakbaşa, Selin Çağatay, and Agnieszka Mrozik
Athena Athanasiou, Agonistic Mourning: Political Dissidence and the Women in Black, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2017, xii + 348 pp., £19.99 (paperback), ISBN 978-1-4744-2015-0.
Maria Bucur and Mihaela Miroiu, Birth of Democratic Citizenship: Women and Power in Modern Romania, Bloomington: University of Indiana Press, 2018, 189 pp., $35.00 (рaperback), ISBN 978-0-25302-564-7.
Katherina Dalakoura and Sidiroula Ziogou-Karastergiou, Hē ekpaideusē tôn gynaikôn, gynaikes stēn ekpaideusē: Koinônikoi, ideologikoi, ekpaideutikoi metaschēmatismoi kai gynaikeia paremvasē (18os–20os ai.) (Women’s education, women in education: Social, ideological, educational transformations, and women’s interventions [18th–20th centuries]), Athens: Greek Academic Electronic Manuals/Kallipos Repository, 2015, 346 pp., e-book: http://hdl.handle.net/11419/2585, ISBN: 978-960-603-290-5. Provided free of charge by the Association of Greek Academic Libraries.
Melissa Feinberg, Curtain of Lies: The Battle over Truth in Stalinist Eastern Europe, New York: Oxford University Press, 2017, 232 pp., $74.00 (hardback), ISBN 978-0-19-064461-1.
Christa Hämmerle, Oswald Überegger, and Birgitta Bader Zaar, eds., Gender and the First World War, Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014, 276 pp., £69.99 (paperback), ISBN 978-1-349-45379-5.
Oksana Kis, Ukrayinky v Hulahu: Vyzhyty znachyt’ peremohty (Ukrainian women in the Gulag: Survival means victory), Lvіv: Institute of Ethnology, 2017, 288 pp., price not listed (paperback), ISBN: 978-966-02-8268-1.
Ana Kolarić, Rod, modernost i emancipacĳ a: Uredničke politike u časopisima “Žena” (1911–1914) i “The Freewoman” (1911–1912) (Gender, modernity, and emancipation: Editorial politics in the journals “Žena” [The woman] [1911–1914] and “The Freewoman” [1911–1912]), Belgrade: Fabrika knjiga, 2017, 253 pp., €14 (paperback), ISBN 978-86-7718-168-0.
Agnieszka Kościańska, Zobaczyć łosia: Historia polskiej edukacji seksualnej od pierwszej lekcji do internetu (To see a moose: The history of Polish sex education from the first lesson to the internet), Wołowiec: Czarne, 2017, 424 pp., PLN 44.90 (hardback), ISBN 978-83-8049-545-6.
Irina Livezeanu and Árpád von Klimó, eds., The Routledge History of East Central Europe since 1700, New York: Routledge, 2017, 522 pp., GBP 175 (hardback), ISBN 978-0-415-58433-3.
Zsófia Lóránd, The Feminist Challenge to the Socialist State in Yugoslavia, Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan 2018, 270 pp., €88.39 (hardback), €71.39 (e-book), ISBN 978-3-319-78222-5.
Marina Matešić and Svetlana Slapšak, Rod i Balkan (Gender and the Balkans), Zagreb: Durieux, 2017, 333 pp., KN 168 (hardback), ISBN 978-953-188-425-9.
Ana Miškovska Kajevska, Feminist Activism at War: Belgrade and Zagreb Feminists in the 1990s, London: Routledge, 2017, 186 pp., £105.00 (hardback), ISBN 978-1-138-69768-3.
Ivana Pantelić, Uspon i pad “prve drugarice” Jugoslavĳ e: Jovanka broz i srpska javnost, 1952–2013 (The rise and fall of the “first lady comrade” of Yugoslavia: Jovanka Broz and Serbian public, 1952–2013), Belgrade: Službeni glasnik, 2018, 336 pp., RSD 880 (paperback), ISBN 978-86-519-2251-3.
Fatbardha Mulleti Saraçi, Kalvari i grave në burgjet e komunizmit (The cavalry of women in communist prisons), Tirana: Instituti i Studimit të Krimeve dhe Pasojave të Komunizmit; Tiranë: Kristalina-KH, 2017, 594 pp., 12000 AL Lek (paperback), ISBN 978-9928-168-71-9.
Žarka Svirčev, Avangardistkinje: Ogledi o srpskoj (ženskoj) avangardnoj književnosti (Women of the avant-garde: Essays on Serbian (female) avant-garde literature), Belgrade, Šabac: Institut za književnost i umetnost, Fondacĳ a “Stanislava Vinaver,” 2018, 306 pp., RSD 800 (paperback), ISBN 978-86-7095259-1.
Şirin Tekeli, Feminizmi düşünmek (Thinking feminism), İstanbul: Bilgi University, 2017, 503 pp., including bibliography, appendices, and index, TRY 30 (paperback), ISBN: 978-605-399-473-2.
Zafer Toprak, Türkiye’de yeni hayat: Inkılap ve travma 1908–1928 (New life in Turkey: Revolution and trauma 1908–1928), Istanbul: Doğan Kitap, 2017, 472 pp., TRY 40 (paperback), ISBN 978-605-09-4721-2.
Wang Zheng, Finding Women in the State: A Socialist Feminist Revolution in the People’s Republic of China, 1949–1964, Berkeley: University of California Press, 2016, 380 pp., 31.45 USD (paperback), ISBN 978-0-520-29229-1.