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POLB92H3 (48)
Lucan Way (26)

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Political Science
Lucan Way

LECTURE 6 Communism --> Commiewasm 1989-1991 End of Communism in Eastern Europe 1989 Democratization Poland (June) Hungary (June-October), Czechoslovakia (November) East Germany (November) Bulgaria (November) and Romania (December) Coincidence?? 1991: End of Communism and collapse of USSR 2 Questions Should the fall of Communism in 1989 have been predicted? What role did the demonstration effect play in the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe? Failure to predict the end of Communism = a failure of Social Science? Almost no one predicted the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe or the USSR No indication in mid 1980s that USSR ready to give up Eastern Europe Almost every standard text of Communism in mid-late 1980s (when I was in college) emphasized stability of Communism Only country where end of Communism thought likely was Poland Everywhere else thought stable But Communism falls extremely suddenly almost without violence in 1989-1991 Should the End of Communism have been predicted? Did this represent a failure of Social Science? Only partially yes, but mostly no End of Communism inherently hard to predict because hinged (in short term) on decisions of a single individual (Mikhail Gorbachev) Communism in 1985 In trouble Slow growth 3% in USSR Increased shortages Widespread cynicism in elitepopulation
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