Explorations of cultural change in the former Soviet bloc

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An Introduction to East European Ideology and Identity in Transformation - 1
Michael D. Kennedy

1. On the Power and Frailty of Utopias - 46
Konrad Weiss

2. From a Socialist Society of Labor into a Consumer Society?  The Transformation of East German Identities and Systems - 55
Ina Merkel

3. Monumental Propaganda - 66
Vitaly Komar and Alexander Melamid

4. Revenge of the Utopia - 73
Edmund Mokrzycki

5. The Ideology of the Mother Nation in the Yugoslav Conflict - 87
Renata Salecl

6. Fantasies of Salvation: Varieties of Nationalism in Postcommunist Eastern Europe - 102
Vladimir Tismaneanu

7. Between Civil Society and the New Etatism: Democracy in the Making and State Building in Ukraine - 125
Mykola Ryabchuk

8. Between Utopia and Dystopia: The Labilities of Nationalism in Eastern Europe - 149
Nicolae Harsanyl and Michael D. Kennedy

9. Revolution, Restoration, and Legitimization: Ideological Problems of the Transition from State Socialism - 180
Andrew Arato

Notes on Contributors - 247


How does one envision the sequel to communist rule in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union? In this volume of postcommunist cultural studies, artists, activists, and experts capture the complexity of ideological transformations and identities in formation in this region. The contributors reach beyond the discourses of civil society and nationalism, which usually structure our imagination of alternatives, to consider how the utopia, memory, and monuments of socialism might be transformed after the death of their communist master; how the Yugoslav War is shaped by the creation, and destruction, of fantasy; the range of alternative nationalisms in Eastern Europe; and how the civil society project is threatened, and how it might be reconstructed.

By challenging the simple identities of citizen, consumer, and capitalist embedded in the discussion of political options with more complex images, this volume opens up the analysis of "transition" and encourages a new theoretical imagination that draws on interdisciplinary engagements among literary studies, history, political theory, psychoanalysis, and sociology.

Contributors are Andrew Arato, Nicolae Harsanyi, Michael D. Kennedy, Vitaly Komar, Alexander Melamid, Ina Merkel, Edmund Mokrzycki, Mykola Ryabchuk, Renata Salecl, Vladimir Tismaneanu, and Konrad Weiss.

Michael D. Kennedy is Associate Professor of Sociology and Associate Research Scientist, Center for Russian and East European Studies, University of Michigan.

". . . a rich and outstanding collection, and a great read for all students of post-communist societies."
Polish Sociological Review

- Polish Sociological Review

"...Envisioning Eastern Europe is well worth reading.... "
—Andrew Lass, Political Processes

- Andrew Lass

". . . an indispensable collection for anyone who wants to comprehend the most forceful collective identities emerging in Eastern Europe. . . . [This] excellent collection is bound to have a great impact on how we envision postcommunism."
Social Forces

- Social Forces