The only textbook to provide a complete introduction to post-1989 Central and Southeast European politics, this dynamic volume provides a comprehensive account of the collapse of communism and the massive transformation that the region has witnessed. It brings together 23 leading specialists to trace the course of the dramatic changes accompanying democratization. The text provides country-by-country coverage, identifying common themes and enabling students to see which are shared throughout the area, giving them a sense of its unity and comparability whilst strengthening understanding around its many different trajectories. The dual thematic focus on democratization and Europeanization running through the text also helps to reinforce this learning process. Each chapter contains a factual overview to give the reader context concerning the region which will be useful for specialists and newcomers to the subject alike.
Observing European debates about EuroDisney, McDonald's, Hollywood films and television programs, and other vehicles of alleged 'Americanization,' one might imagine that Europe was in serious risk of losing its distinct cultural identity in the melting pot of American pop culture. The loaded charge of 'kitsch' is a central aspect of the debate, with Disney stories, for example, branded as simplified travesties of authentic European folk tales. But the relationship between European and American popular cultures is vastly more complex. Reciprocal and interactive, it is a relationship in which the European-American partnership (for example, in cinematic ventures) has become quite common. And again, artifacts which have a certain meaning and reception in America may have a completely different meaning and reception in Europe; in effect behaving as different artifacts altogether. And finally, as this book shows, American cultural influences have penetrated not only the popular realms of European television, fashions, fast food, and rock music, but also such domains as youth organizations, literature, UFO culture, and religious faith.
Sixteen scholars of the region discuss the values and institutions central to Croatia's transformation from communism and toward liberal democracy. This book is the companion volume to a similar study on Slovenia. Together, these two works form an important case study in comparison and contrast between two countries in the same region going through the transition from communism to liberal democracy.
The early 1980s brought dramatic changes in East-West relations. The decade began with the death of Yugoslavia's Tito, the birth of Poland's Solidarity trade union, and the U.S. election of Ronald Reagan as president. These key developments, together with the growing financial insolvency of the Soviet bloc and shifts in power in the Kremlin—culminating in the election of Mikhail Gorbachev as general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1985—signalled the end of an era. Since then, U.S. relations with Europe have charted a new course, influenced especially by the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, the expansion of NATO, and the growing strength of the European Union. This volume analyzes U.S. relations with Britain, France, Germany, Spain, Russia, Poland, and Ukraine, and examines the new role for NATO in the post-Cold War world and the evolving dynamics in the U.S.-EU partnership. Through their assessment of mutual perceptions, evolving interests, and clashing agendas, the contributors offer a fresh and thoughtful exploration of the relationship between the United States and the major European states.
Southeast European politics cannot be understood without taking ethnic minorities into account. This book provides a comprehensive introduction to the politics of ethnic minorities, examining both their political parties and issues of social distance, migration, and ethnic boundaries, as well as issues related to citizenship and integration. Coverage includes detailed analyses of Hungarian minority parties in Romania, Albanian minority parties in Macedonia, Serb minority parties in Croatia, Bosniak minority parties in Serbia, and various minority parties in Montenegro, as well as the Movement for Rights and Freedoms, a largely Turkish party, in Bulgaria.
Discusses Serbia's struggle for democratic values after the fall of the Milošević regime provoked by the NATO war, and after the trauma caused by the secession of Kosovo. Are the value systems of the post-Milošević era true stumbling blocks of a delayed transition of this country? Seventeen contributors from Norway, Serbia, Italy, Germany, Poland and some other European countries covered a broad range of topics in order to provide answers to this question. The subjects of their investigations were national myths and symbols, history textbooks, media, film, religion, inter-ethnic dialogue, transitional justice, political party agendas and other related themes. The authors of the essays represent different scholarly disciplines whose theoretical conceptions and frameworks are employed in order to analyze two alternative value systems in Serbia: liberal, cosmopolitan and civic on the one hand, and traditional, provincial, nationalist on the other.