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7: Post-Communism and East-Central Europe

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Political Science
POLI 212
Hudson Meadwell

7: Post-Communism and East-Central Europe Eastern Pattern of Political Development: Introduction - 2 features leading up to discussion about collapse of Soviet Union: - 1) Pattern of change: long periods of stasis, abrupt changes/ruptures (punctuated equilib) - 2) Enduring imp of imperial structure EEur organised in imperial organisations up to end of WWI Ottoman, Hapsburg, Tsarist Things change as consequence of imperial collapse esp Ottoman/Hapsburg lands States in play 1945 in EEur = relatively new states, newly formed Relatively short experiences of democ practice + instits Tsarist empire, also think of Soviet Union, Soviet Bloc as imperial structure built around hegemonic core, built around Russian Core of USSR Has consequences for sovereignty of states in Soviet Bloc Subordinated to interest + imperatives of imperial core Tsarist empire replaced by poli structure organised around party state Imp ways in which party state itself is embedded in imperial poli structure Still kind of core to USSR + USSR hegemon w/in E + Central Eur esp after USSR consolidates its hold over E in 1945 CONTRAST: continuing imp of imperial structure in E + imp of state led poli devel in W (WEur = state centric soc, EEur = soc organised around imperatives of imperial core, USSR) States make up E+Central Eur post 1945 = dont have classic charac of Westphalian state, live to limits to external + internal sovereignty Basic norm: foreign policies of states in E+Central Eur of central bloc are subordinated to foreign policy interests of USSR USSR conts maintain mili prerogative to intervene domestically in affairs of satellite states when it feels it is in imperial interest of USSR Peculiar arrangement post-1945 in EEur: Legacy of imperial structures Legacy/consequence of Russian Revolution Means that transit + consolidation of democ in E+Central Eur going to come much later than it does in WEur - 3 imp features of way in which transition to democracy occurred in USSR: - Transit to democ = ubiquitous, distinc features in how democ emerges - 1) Dual transition: transit not just in terms poli regime, but also types of econ Simply more probs to deal w/in transit b/c of politics + economics are both changing @same time closely connected - 2) Argument about civil mili relations in transit W/1 minor qualification mili accepts transit perhaps b/c in Soviet model mili tends to be subordinated to civil authority of party state - 3) Democ transits occur @same time as partic states begin fragment Can get democ transit holding state borders constant (ex. Spain) Democ transits also opportunities for actors to challenge territ integrity of state Changes to regime + state Most imp cases of break up: Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, USSRImportant Dates - 1917: partic kind poli mold is set as consequence of Russ Rev - Way in which Russ Rev both local + universal Rev designed to remake state + regime in Russ H: also predicated on ideological posit which has universal implications Implies certain kind of foreign policy + ambitious foreign policy In 1 instance, rev local rather than universal Means Soviet Union going to be surrounded by hostile powers Have on 1 hand: phenomena of socialism in 1 nat combined w/interest in export of revolution + what that implies for foreign policy - 1945: mold is confirmed, entrenched, extended as Soviet Union extends sway over parts E+C Eur - 1989: marks breaking of mold - Partic kind of democ transit in Soviet Union + in aftermath of transit in SU, in parts E+C Eur - Draw attention to peculiarities/idiosyncratic features as to ways in which it can be classified in larger class of democ transit - Distinc features: Ways in which democ transit issued in new states Easy to imagine democ transits as simply changes to poli rules of the game Nothing in democ transit that implies state borders need to/will be changed Borders not held constant in imp cases USSR, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia Nats transform in terms of regime type + of state structure New state formation relatively peaceful for: Czech/Slovak separation 1990s (Velvet Divorce) In general formation new states out of collapse USSR = also relatively peaceful = non-violent transit H: break-up Yugoslavia = leads to ethnic war
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