Now in a fully updated edition, this essential text explores the other half of Europe—the new and future members of the European Union along with the problems and potential they bring to the region and to the world stage. Clear and comprehensive, it offers an authoritative and up-to-date analysis of the transformations and realities in Central and Eastern Europe, the Baltics, and Ukraine. Divided into two parts, the book presents a set of comparative country case studies as well as thematic chapters on key issues, including EU and NATO expansion, the economic transition and its social ramifications, the role of women, persistent problems of ethnicity and nationalism, and political reform. New to this edition is a chapter on Albania.
Leading scholars provide the historical context for the current situation of each country in the region. They explain how communism ended and how democratic politics has emerged or is struggling to emerge in its wake, how individual countries have transformed their economies, how their populations have been affected by rapid and wrenching change, and how foreign policy making has evolved. For students and specialists alike, this book will be an invaluable resource on the newly democratizing states of Europe.
Contributions by: Federigo Argentieri, Mark Baskin, Elez Biberaj, Janusz Bugajski, Valerie Bunce, Zsuzsa Csergo, Jane L. Curry, Daina Stukuls Eglitis, Sharon Fisher, John Gledhill, Charles King, Taras Kuzio, Ronald Linden, Paula Pickering, Marilyn Rueschemeyer, Jeffrey Simon, Joshua Spero, and Sharon L. Wolchik.
Sharon L. Wolchik —
Sharon L. Wolchik is professor of political science at George Washington University.
Central and East European politics: from communism to democracy, ed. by Sharon L. Wolchik and Jane L. Curry. 2nd ed. Rowman & Littlefield, 2011. 418p bibl index afp; ISBN 9780742567337; ISBN 9780742567344 pbk; ISBN 9780742567351 e-book. Reviewed in 2011jul CHOICE.
Wolchik (George Washington Univ.) and Curry (Santa Clara Univ.) have edited a useful textbook designed for undergraduate classes that includes chapters dedicated to various themes and countries in Central and East Europe. The first section surveys the political transition, the efforts to re-create the free market economy, the problems raised by ethnic diversity and nationalist sentiment, women's participation in post-communist politics, and the accession to NATO and the EU. The second section includes in-depth case studies of Poland, the Czech and Slovak Republics, Hungary, the Baltic states, Bulgaria, Romania, Albania, Ukraine, and the former Yugoslav republics. Comprehensive neither in its choice of topics nor in its selection of countries, the volume does manage to describe the most important challenges Central and East Europe faced during both the communist and post-communist periods up until 2010. Also see Burdens of Freedom: Eastern Europe Since 1989, CH, May'07, 44-5276.
Summing Up: Recommended. General readers, undergraduate students, graduate students, and research faculty. -- L. Stan, St. Francis Xavier University