The Burdens of Freedom

Eastern Europe since 1989

Padraic Kenney

Description

Presents a thematic history of the 15 countries comprising the post-communist 'New Europe'. This title considers the effects of revolutionary change, the resurgence of nationalism, and the examination of the past. It looks at the process of building stable democratic states, and their integration with international structures.
From Estonia to Macedonia, this book is a history of 15 countries as they negotiate their transition from communism. For some, the story ends happily, with triumphant entry into the European Union in 2004.Others are caught in limbo, destroyed by nationalist politics, war and genocide, or crippled by corrupt political practices.

The Burdens of Freedom considers the effects of revolutionary change, the resurgence of nationalism and the painful examination of the past. It looks at the process of building stable democratic states, and their integration with international structures. Most of the countries have established admission to the EU as a national objective; but many of them have also been active participants in the American-led occupation of Iraq. Domestically, each has seen a divide emerge between winners and losers. All are moving forward simultaneously to democracy, unity and prosperity, but also to national division and economic disparity.

Author Bio

Padraic Kenney divides his time between Wroclaw, Poland and the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he is professor of history. He is the author of several books on Eastern European history and politics, including A Carnival of Revolution: Central Europe, 1989 (2002).

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgements
  • Maps
  • Introduction: The Shock of the New
  • 1. Different Paths on an Open Road: Economic and Social Change
  • 2. In Praise of Ethnic Cleansing? National Struggles
  • 3. Peeling the Past: Nostalgia and Punishment
  • 4. Portraits in Hubris: Democratic Politics
  • 5. A New Europe: The East in the West
  • Conclusion: The Edge of History
  • Notes
  • Index

Reviews

‘An exceedingly useful book a sensible and perspicacious assessment of the complex and often just plain confusing developments after 1989. And an exciting read. Kenney highlights the strenuous processes of democratic nation-building and reminds us that, despite set-backs and outright disasters, democratic nations can be built in the twenty-first century and that Europe has become a different continent for it.’
Michael Geyer, University of Chicago

'Padraic Kenney's insightful survey of Eastern Europe since the fall of communism combines sensitive local histories with sophisticated general theory. The Burdens of Freedom makes sense of the paradoxical development of a vast and diverse region: its arduous economic transitions, its accommodation of painful pasts, and despite intervening disillusion and setbacks, its emerging civic stamina.'
Charles S. Maier, Harvard University

Details

Publication Date: 31 August 2006
192 pages

Product ISBNs: Paperback: 9781842776636
eBook ePub: 9781848136205
eBook PDF: 9781848131217
eBook Kindle: 9781780326603
Library Edition: 9781842776629

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