Syndetics cover image
Image from Syndetics

The state against society : political crises and their aftermath in East Central Europe / Grzegorz Ekiert.

By: Material type: TextTextPublication details: Princeton, N.J : Princeton University Press, 1996.ISBN:
  • 0691011141
  • 0691011133
Subject(s): DDC classification:
  • 306.2/0943 20
LOC classification:
  • HX240.7.A6 E44 1996
Contents:
Ch. 1. Introduction: Political Crises, Mobilization, and Demobilization in East Central Europe -- Pt. I. The Political Crisis and Its Aftermath in Hungary, 1956-1963. Ch. 2. The Party-State and Society during the Hungarian Revolution. Ch. 3. The Soviet Invasion and the Defeat of the Revolution. Ch. 4. The Political Crisis, Demobilization, and Regime Reequilibration in Hungary -- Pt. II. The Political Crisis and Its Aftermath in Czechoslovakia, 1968-1976. Ch. 5. The Party-State and Society during the Prague Spring. Ch. 6. The End of Socialism with a Human Face. Ch. 7. The Political Crisis, Demobilization, and Regime Reequilibration in Czechoslovakia -- Pt. III. The Political Crisis and Its Aftermath in Poland, 1980-1989. Ch. 8. The Party-State and Society during the Solidarity Period. Ch. 9. Poland under Martial Law and After. Ch. 10. The Political Crisis and the Failure of Demobilization and Regime Reequilibration. Ch. 11. Conclusions: Patterns and Legacies of Political Crisis, Demobilization, and Regime Reequilibration in East Central Europe.
Summary: Classical images of state socialism developed in the contemporary social sciences were founded on simple presuppositions. State-socialist regimes were considered to be politically stable due to their repressive capacity and pervasive institutional and ideological control over the everyday lives of their citizens. They were seen as rigid, inert, and impervious to reform and change. Finally, they were considered to be representative of extreme cases of political and economic dependency. Despite their contrasting historical experiences, they have been treated as basically identical in their institutional design, social and economic structures, and policies. Grzegorz Ekiert challenges this common political wisdom in a comparative analysis of the major political crises in post-1945 East Central Europe: Hungary (1956-63), Czechoslovakia (1968-76), and Poland (1980-89). The author maintains that the nature and consequences of these crises can better explain the distinctive experiences of East Central European countries under communist rule than can the formal characteristics of their political and economic systems or their politically dependent status. He explores how political crises reshaped party-state institutions, redefined relations between party and state institutions, altered the relationship between the state and various groups and organizations within society, and modified the political practices of these regimes. He shows how these events transformed cultural categories, produced collective memories, and imposed long-lasting constraints on mass political behavior and the policy choices of ruling elites. Ekiert argues that these crises shaped the political evolution of the region, produced important cross-national differences among state-socialist regimes, and contributed to the distinctive patterns of their collapse.
Holdings
Item type Home library Call number Status Date due Barcode Item holds
Two Week Loan Two Week Loan College Lane Learning Resources Centre Main Shelves 306.20943 EKI (Browse shelf(Opens below)) Available 4403813944
Total holds: 0

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

Includes bibliographical references and index.

Ch. 1. Introduction: Political Crises, Mobilization, and Demobilization in East Central Europe -- Pt. I. The Political Crisis and Its Aftermath in Hungary, 1956-1963. Ch. 2. The Party-State and Society during the Hungarian Revolution. Ch. 3. The Soviet Invasion and the Defeat of the Revolution. Ch. 4. The Political Crisis, Demobilization, and Regime Reequilibration in Hungary -- Pt. II. The Political Crisis and Its Aftermath in Czechoslovakia, 1968-1976. Ch. 5. The Party-State and Society during the Prague Spring. Ch. 6. The End of Socialism with a Human Face. Ch. 7. The Political Crisis, Demobilization, and Regime Reequilibration in Czechoslovakia -- Pt. III. The Political Crisis and Its Aftermath in Poland, 1980-1989. Ch. 8. The Party-State and Society during the Solidarity Period. Ch. 9. Poland under Martial Law and After. Ch. 10. The Political Crisis and the Failure of Demobilization and Regime Reequilibration. Ch. 11. Conclusions: Patterns and Legacies of Political Crisis, Demobilization, and Regime Reequilibration in East Central Europe.

Classical images of state socialism developed in the contemporary social sciences were founded on simple presuppositions. State-socialist regimes were considered to be politically stable due to their repressive capacity and pervasive institutional and ideological control over the everyday lives of their citizens. They were seen as rigid, inert, and impervious to reform and change. Finally, they were considered to be representative of extreme cases of political and economic dependency. Despite their contrasting historical experiences, they have been treated as basically identical in their institutional design, social and economic structures, and policies. Grzegorz Ekiert challenges this common political wisdom in a comparative analysis of the major political crises in post-1945 East Central Europe: Hungary (1956-63), Czechoslovakia (1968-76), and Poland (1980-89). The author maintains that the nature and consequences of these crises can better explain the distinctive experiences of East Central European countries under communist rule than can the formal characteristics of their political and economic systems or their politically dependent status. He explores how political crises reshaped party-state institutions, redefined relations between party and state institutions, altered the relationship between the state and various groups and organizations within society, and modified the political practices of these regimes. He shows how these events transformed cultural categories, produced collective memories, and imposed long-lasting constraints on mass political behavior and the policy choices of ruling elites. Ekiert argues that these crises shaped the political evolution of the region, produced important cross-national differences among state-socialist regimes, and contributed to the distinctive patterns of their collapse.