Developments in Central and East European Politics 2 by Judy Batt, Paul G. Lewis, Stephen White

By Judy Batt, Paul G. Lewis, Stephen White

This substitute for "Developments in East eu Politics" shifts the point of interest from the cave in of communism and technique of transition to supply a comparative advent to the rising new political structures of the zone. Like its better half quantity on Western Europe, it brings jointly especially commissioned chapters through top gurus to supply a tightly built-in creation to politics, executive and coverage set in a vast fiscal and social context. it really is meant for undergraduate and postgraduate scholars of East eu politics, critical eu politics, communist and post-communist politics, eu politics, and comparative politics.

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The role and personal behaviour of the different presidents was certainly important, and the outlook and style of Vaclav Havel and Lech Walesa certainly became well known on the international stage. Less well known perhaps (but not always less important) were the actions of Arpad Goncz in Hungary and Michal Kovac in the new Slovak Republic. While the presidents enjoyed a varied range of formal powers, they all exercised some influence on government policy and the political development of their respective countries.

50). The analysis of Hungary identified a 'potentially dangerous cocktail of increasing unemployment, decreasing social welfare and growing political acceptance of the vocabulary of extreme nationalism' (Swain, 1993, p. 82), while 'Czechoslovakia's disappearance ... removes what had appeared to be an island of stability in the region' (Wightman, 1993, p. 65). Yet, with the obvious exception of the 'velvet divorce' of the already federalised Czech and Slovak Republics, the territorial integrity of the postcommunist states has been maintained and no significant challenge made either to their foundations or to the basic principles of their operation; elections have been held on time and their outcomes generally accepted; major economic problems have indeed been encountered but broadly weathered, their major social consequences either coped with or largely tolerated.

The communist states were thus inextricably linked in the minds of these peoples with Soviet imperialism, and seen not as the expression but the betrayal of the nation's identity and interests. Political dissent was never effec- Judy Batt 13 tively stamped out in Central Europe, and became increasingly widespread whenever a weakened communist regime sought to appease its people by 'liberal' reforms and a more relaxed form of rule. It was only natural here that the language of dissent should become infused with the national idiom, and that people's understanding of their situation should be framed by their long historical experience of thwarted 'national self-determination'.

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