Cambridge University Press has recently published Central and Southeast European Politics since 1989, a volume which is edited by Sabrina P. Ramet and includes contributions by some of the most recognizable names in the field. An important survey of politics in Eastern European countries after the collapse of the communist regime, the volume is divided in two main sections: some chapters discuss different themes, while others examine different post-communist countries. In their introductory chapter, Sabrina P. Ramet and F. Peter Wagner propose post-communist “models of rule” as a general framework for understanding the themes and countries discussed in the volume. Chapters 3-6 and 22-24 discuss themes key for Central and Eastern Europe: the emergence of the nation-state, the post-communist party systems, the post-1989 economic reforms, and the Yugoslav secession wars, as well as regional security, the EU enlargement, and lessons and difficulties in the near future. The remainder of the volume includes chapters devoted to countries like Poland, the Czeck and Slovak Republics, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Kosovo, Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, the Baltic states, and Moldova. Its breadth and depth recommend this volume as a textbook appropriate for classes on East European Politics. The timelines, biographical sketches, further recommended readings make chapters accessible to a wider audience.

This is how the CUP introduces the book: “The only textbook to provide a complete introduction to post-1989 Central and Eastern 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 democratisation and Europeanisation running through the text also helps to reinforce this learning process. Each chapter contains a factual overview to give the reader context concerning a region which they may have never previously studied, but are sure to find fascinating.”

Contents:

Part I. Introduction:
1. Introduction Sabrina P. Ramet;
2. Post-socialist models of rule in Central and Southeastern Europe Sabrina P. Ramet and F. Peter Wagner;

Part II. Issues:
3. The emergence of the nation-state in East-Central Europe and the Balkans in historical perspective Reneo Lukic;
4. Central and East European party systems since 1989 Elisabeth Bakke;
5. Economic reforms and the illusion of transition Karl Kaser;
6. The war of Yugoslav succession Marko Attila Hoare; Part III. Central Europe:
7. Poland since 1989: muddling through, wall to wall Konstanty Gebert;
8. Building democratic values in the Czech Republic since 1989 Carol Skalnik Leff;
9. Slovakia since 1989 Erika Harris;
10. Hungary since 1989 András Bozóki and Eszter Simon;

Part IV. Yugoslav Successor States:
11. Slovenia since 1989 Danica Fink-Hafner;
12. Politics in Croatia since 1990 Sabrina P. Ramet;
13. Serbia and Montenegro since 1989 Sabrina P. Ramet;
14. Bosnia and Herzegovina since 1990 Florian Bieber;
15. Macedonia since 1989 Zachary T. Irwin;
16. Kosova: resisting expulsion and striving for independence Frances Trix;

Part V. Southeastern Europe:
17. Romania: in the shadow of the past Lavinia Stan;
18. Bulgaria since 1989 Maria Spirova;
19. Albania since 1989: the Hoxhaist legacy Bernd Jürgen Fischer;

Part VI. Former Soviet Republics:
20. The Baltic states Hermann Smith-Sivertsen;
21. Moldova since 1989 Steven D. Roper;

Part VII. Present and Future Challenges:
22. Regional security and regional relations Rick Fawn;
23. The EU and democratization in Central and Southeastern Europe since 1989 Ulrich Sedelmeier;
24. Facing the twenty-first century: lessons, questions, and tendencies (a conclusion) Aurel Braun.

Sabrina P. Ramet, ed., Central and Southeast European Politics since 1989 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010).

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