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  • Author: Evan Mawdsley
  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: This essay has two related themes. The first is the causal link between the First World War and the Russian Revolution. The second is the periodization of Russia’s crisis; in particular the essay examines the ‘continuum’ between the First World War, the 1917 Revolution, and the Civil War of 1917-20 which formed, for Russia at least, a ‘long’ First World War. The link between war and revolution is important, especially as Imperial Russia was the only major participant in the Great War to fall victim to radical political overturn during the conflict, and the only one which continued to fight in 1917 after a drastic change of government. One of the most famous documents relating to the war-revolution link was a memorandum written by P. I. Durnovo to Emperor Nicholas II in February 1914, six months before the outbreak of the Great War. Durnovo had been Minister of the Interior during the 1905 Revolution; following his ministerial appointment he was one of the leaders of the State Council. The 1914 memorandum warned about the extreme danger of becoming involved in a war with Germany. [I]n the event of defeat, the possibility of which in a struggle with a foe like Germany cannot be overlooked, social revolution in its most extreme form is inevitable .... [I]t will start with the blaming of the government for all disasters. In the legislative institutions a bitter campaign against [the government] will begin, followed by revolutionary manifestations throughout the country, with socialist slogans, capable of arousing and rallying the masses, beginning with the complete division of the land and succeeded by a division of all valuables and property. The defeated army, having lost its most dependable men, and carried away by the tide of primitive peasant desire for land, will find itself too demoralized to serve as a bulwark of law and order. The legislative institutions and the opposition parties of the intelligentsia, lacking real authority in the eyes of the people, will be powerless of stem the popular tide, aroused in fact by themselves, and Russia will be flung into hopeless anarchy, the end-result of which cannot be foreseen.1 Durnovo died in 1915 and did not live to see how closely his fears would correspond to reality. However, since his Memorandum was published by the Soviet historians in 1922 it has been noted for its predictive quality; a recent Russian biography was published with the title ‘Russian Nostradamus’.2 Meanwhile, the notion of continuum has recently become an important theme in the study of early twentieth-century Russia, as the centenary of those events is reached. A major international research project, ‘Russia's Great War & Revolution’, is currently under development; it aims to ‘fundamentally transform understanding of Russia's “continuum of crisis” during the years 1914-1922’. The key phrase comes from the subtitle (Russia's Continuum of Crisis, 1914-1921) of a 2002 book by Peter Holquist’s on the Don region.3 To make more sense of both the link between war and revolution and the continuum, the period 1914-1920 can be divided into four periods - 1914-1917, 1917, 1917-18, and 1918-20.
  • Topic: Communism, World War I, Revolution, Russian Revolution
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Harold James
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: A spectre is haunting the world: 1914. The approaching centenary of the outbreak of the First World War is a reminder of how the instability produced by changes in the relative balance of power in an integrated or globalized world may produce cataclysmic events. Jean-Claude Juncker, the veteran Prime Minister of Luxem-bourg and chair of the Eurogroup of finance ministers, started 2013 by warning journalists that they should take note of the parallels with 1913, the last year of European peace. He was referring explicitly to new national animosities fanned by the European economic crisis, with a growing polarization between North and South. Historically, the aftermath and the consequences of such cataclysms have been extreme. George Kennan strikingly termed the 1914–18 conflict 'the great seminal catastrophe of this century'. Without it, fascism, communism, the Great Depression and the Second World War are all almost impossible to imagine.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Communism, Economics, Politics, War
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Malcolm Sayers, Eddie Follan
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The ownership of assets by communities has gained increasing prominence in recent years as a practical way by which local services can be owned and/or managed by local people. Proponents of community ownership argue that the development of such models contributes to increased community cohesion and confidence, community regeneration and enhanced sustainability through the development of income-generating initiatives.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Communism
  • Political Geography: Europe, Scotland
  • Author: Magdaléna Hadjiisky
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Political Sociology
  • Abstract: The question of the status of public administrations–outwardly a technical one–appears as an important political issue in the post-communist context. The form and place of the State is one of the main issues (political and scientific) raised by post-Sovietism in East European societies. The administration of the former regimes, along with the Communist Party, has embodied the Soviet type of centralized state control. It constitutes a particularly relevant context to evaluate the evolution of the form and action of the State in these new democracies. The administrations in socialist countries were based on the explicit rejection of the separation of powers. Administrative staff organization was based on partisan selection and on the management of civil servants, as well as on the denial of a statutory identity specific to the civil service. The debate on the status of civil servants and services provided by the State has allowed for the redevelopment of a fundamental aspect from the former system: partisan intervention in the selection and management of personnel, and consequently, a degree of political autonomy for the administrative staff. More generally, the treatment of civil servants is important evidence of the conception of the State that prevails at any given moment in history.
  • Topic: Cold War, Communism, Democratization
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Ioana Cîrstocea
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Political Sociology
  • Abstract: A new research field named “gender studies” or “feminist studies” has emerged during the 1990s in East-European and post-Soviet countries. The scientific productions in that field often function as experts' studies and aim at contributing to improve women's condition. Established by agents who simultaneously act in several social spaces (scientific, associative or political), feminist studies are at the crossroads of academic and activist, national and international dynamics. Therefore, we consider them as a new discipline at the core of the social and political programmes of recomposition after the collapse of communist regimes, and as an indicator for the rebuilding of social sciences, the emergence of new academic topics, the international circulation and importation of scientific concerns, the reconstruction of intellectual elites in the Countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CCEE). The paper offers some guidelines for a sociology of this new field of knowledge production.
  • Topic: Cold War, Communism, Democratization, Gender Issues, Political Theory
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Arolda Elbasani
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Kolleg-Forschergruppe (KFG)
  • Abstract: How and to what extent have European ideas transformed the political-administrative institutions in the candidate countries in the East? Which conditions work to mitigate and undermine the impact of the European Union (EU) in these contexts? Research on post-communist transformations, by and large, holds EU enlargement as a successful attempt of institutional transfer in the candidate countries. However, while the EU proved to be successful in the first wave of enlargement in the East, we know much less about its effects in 'borderline' cases that lack the will and/or the capacity to pursue required reforms, thus posing a real challenge to EU enlargement strategy. The paper aims to trace the effects of enlargement in challenging domestic environments focusing on public administration reform in post-communist Albania. Differently from the classic Europeanization literature, the bottom-up approach used here, seeks to bring to the fore the crucial role of domestic agency to download and sometimes mitigate European transfers in the national arena. Evidence from the case study shows that governing actors have used EU enlargement as a means to further their strategic goals – they have preferred to talk the talk of reform in order to reap the benefits associated with EU integration and broader external assistance, but also resist implementation of new rules that curtail the political control of the state and the ongoing system of spoils built throughout the post-communist transition. The EU's broad thresholds on administrative reform and the weak association between monitoring of progress and rewards have left ample space for the governing actors to merely pay lip service to the EU prescriptions, while getting full control of a poli-ticized administration.
  • Topic: Cold War, Communism, Debt, Democratization
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Jonathan R. Zatlin
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute of European Studies
  • Abstract: This paper locates the collapse of East German communism in Marxist- Leninist monetary theory. By exploring the economic and cultural functions of money in East Germany, it argues that the communist party failed to reconcile its ideological aspirations - a society free of the social alienation represented by money and merchandise - with the practical exigencies of governing an industrial society by force. Using representative examples of market failure in production and consumption, the paper shows how the party's deep-seated hostility to money led to economic inefficiency and waste. Under Honecker, the party sought to improve living standards by trading political liberalization for West German money. Over time, however, this policy devalued the meaning of socialism by undermining the actual currency, facilitating the communist collapse and overdetermining the pace and mode of German unification.
  • Topic: Communism, Economics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe, Germany, West Germany
  • Author: Stephen Crowley
  • Publication Date: 05-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Studies on the changing labor relations in post-communist countries have flourished in recent years, such that a review and analysis of what has been reported is overdue. Yet, interestingly, these studies have not reached a consensus on what they seek to explain. Indeed, some of the main questions remain under contention. First, is labor in post-communist societies weak, or (in at least some countries) strong? What should the referent be in determining strength or weakness? To the extent labor is weak, what would explain this weakness? If labor's power varies throughout the region, what would explain this variation? There have been a number of answers posed to these questions to date, but not a thorough testing of rival hypotheses. This paper will demonstrate, using a variety of measures, that labor is indeed a weak social and political act or in post-communist societies, especially when compared to labor in western Europe. This general weakness is rather surprising when one examines it against the now considerable economic and political diversity that exists in the post-communist world. The paper will then examine a number of hypotheses that have been proposed to explain labor's weakness, concluding that the institutional legacies of post-communist trade unions, and the ideological legacy of the discourse of class, best explain this overall weakness. However, the concept of legacy is itself found wanting, since it is unable to account for the extent of this weakness or the trends that have occurred in the region over time.
  • Topic: Communism, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Mitchell Orenstein, Martine R. Hass
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: How has globalization influenced welfare state development in postcommunist Europe? We focus on the leading East-Central European accession states, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary, and show that these states have experienced radically different welfare state developments since 1989 from their neighbors in the former Soviet Union. The first pa rt of the paper proposes that these divergent paths can be explained by a “Europe effect”. We argue that the effects of globalization have differed greatly, depending on a country's position in the international economy and geopolitical relations. We demonstrate that countries closer to the European Union have used welfare state programs to compensate citizens for the traumas of system transition and economic openness, while the welfare systems in the former Soviet states have collapsed to a far greater extent, in terms of spending and effectivness.
  • Topic: Communism, Globalization, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe, Poland, Soviet Union, Hungary, Czech Republic
  • Author: Nina Khrushcheva
  • Publication Date: 05-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: One goal of Russia's economic reforms during the last ten years has been to establish a new class of businessmen and owners of private property—people who could form the foundation for a new model post-Soviet citizen. However, the experience of this post-communist economic “revolution” has turned out to be very different from the original expectations. For as people became disillusioned with communism due to its broken promises, the words “democracy” and “reform” quickly became equally as unbearable to large sectors of the Russian public after 1991. Such disillusion was achieved in less than ten years—a record revolutionary burnout that would be the envy of any anti-Bolshevik.
  • Topic: Communism, Democratization, Development, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Soviet Union