Twenty Years After Communism

Paperback | August 12, 2014

EditorMichael Bernhard, Jan Kubik

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While the fall of the Berlin Wall is positively commemorated in the West, the intervening years have shown that the former Soviet Bloc has a more complicated view of its legacy. In post-communist Eastern Europe, the way people remember state socialism is closely intertwined with the manner inwhich they envision historical justice. Twenty Years After Communism is concerned with the explosion of a politics of memory triggered by the fall of state socialism in Eastern Europe, and it takes a comparative look at the ways that communism and its demise have been commemorated (or notcommemorated) by major political actors across the region. The book is built on three premises. The first is that political actors always strive to come to terms with the history of their communities in order to generate a sense of order in their personal and collective lives. Second, new leaders sometimes find it advantageous to mete out justice on thepoliticians of abolished regimes, and whether and how they do so depends heavily on their interpretation and assessment of the collective past. Finally, remembering the past, particularly collectively, is always a political process, thus the politics of memory and commemoration needs to be studiedas an integral part of the establishment of new collective identities and new principles of political legitimacy. Each chapter takes a detailed look at the commemorative ceremony of a different country of the former Soviet Bloc. Collectively the book looks at patterns of extrication from statesocialism, patterns of ethnic and class conflict, the strategies of communist successor parties, and the cultural traditions of a given country that influence the way official collective memory is constructed.Twenty Years After Communism develops a new analytical and explanatory framework that helps readers to understand the utility of historical memory as an important and understudied part of democratization.

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While the fall of the Berlin Wall is positively commemorated in the West, the intervening years have shown that the former Soviet Bloc has a more complicated view of its legacy. In post-communist Eastern Europe, the way people remember state socialism is closely intertwined with the manner inwhich they envision historical justice. Twen...

Michael Bernhard is Raymond and Miriam Ehrlich Chair of Political Science at the University of Florida. Jan Kubik is Professor and Chair of Political Science at Rutgers University.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:368 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:August 12, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199375143

ISBN - 13:9780199375141

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Table of Contents

List of Figures and TablesList of PicturesAcknowledgmentsContributor listMichael Bernhard and Jan Kubik: Introduction1. Jan Kubik and Michael Bernhard: A Theory of the Politics of MemoryPart I: Fractured Memory Regimes2. Anna Seleny: Revolutionary Road: 1956 and the Fracturing of Hungarian Historical Memory3. Michael Bernhard and Jan Kubik: Roundtable Discord: The Contested Legacy of 1989 in Poland4. Grigore Pop-Eleches: Romania Twenty Years after 1989: The Bizarre Echoes of a Contested Revolution5. Carol Skalnik Leff, Kevin Deegan-Krause, and Sharon L. Wolchik: I Ignored Your Revolution, but You Forgot My Anniversary: Party Competition in Slovakia and the Construction of Recollection6. Daina S. Eglitis and Laura Ardava: Remembering the Revolution: Contested Pasts in the Baltic Countries7. Oxana Shevel: Memories of the Past and Visions of the Future: Remembering the Soviet Era and its End in UkrainePart II: Pillarized Memory Regimes8. Conor O'Dwyer: Remembering, Not Commemorating, 1989: The 20-Year Anniversary of the Velvet Revolution in the Czech RepublicPart III: Unified Memory Regimes9. David Art: Making Room for November 9, 1989? The Fall of the Berlin Wall in German Politics and Memory10. Venelin I. Ganev: The Inescapable Past: The Politics of Memory in Postcommunist Bulgaria11. Aida A. Hozi: Lives of Others: Commemorating 1989 in the Former YugoslaviaPart IV: ConclusionsMichael Bernhard and Jan Kubik: The Politics and Culture of Memory Regimes: A Comparative AnalysisAppendicesBibliographyIndex