In The Economic Transformations in East and Central Europe the contributors argue that the area's economic history over the last century contains vital legacies that will shape its economic future. The book is an invaluable guide to understanding the current and future problems of this volatile region, and includes analysis of individual countries with comparative studies.
The growing internationalization of the world poses a fundamental question, i.e., through what mechanisms does culture diffuse across political boundaries and what is the role of politics in shaping this diffusion? This volume offers some answers through the case study of the relationship between two quite different states during the Cold War era - Austria, a small neutral country, and the United States, the reigning superpower. The authors challenge naive notions of cultural diffusion that posit the submission of small "peripheral" areas to the dictates of hegemonic powers at the "core." "Americanization" has no doubt taken place since 1945; however, local forces crucially shaped this process, and Austrian elites enjoyed considerable leeway in pursuing "Austrian" political objectives. On the other hand, with the expulsion of Vienna's cultural and intellectual elite after the Anschluß, the United States, more than any othercountry, became heir to the rich cultural legacy of "Vienna 1900," which profoundly shaped politics and culture in both its "high" and popular forms in postwar America. The relationship climaxed and came full circle with the unfolding of the Waldheim affair, which forced Americans and Austrians to reinterpret the meaning of the Nazi era for their own history in a confrontation with the "other."