IDEAS, CULTURE, AND HISTORY IN TRANSITION STUDIES
In recent years it has been possible to observe a historical and cultural turn in the studies of transition in Central and Eastern Europe. Whereas until the late 1990s the field was dominated by 'transitology', which endorsed the convergence of the post-communist countries with Western Europe (both in a normative and an analytical sense), more recently there have been an increasing number of studies dedicated to obtaining an understanding of political and cultural diversity in the region. The two publications reviewed in this essay significantly contribute to the latter and are reviewed here with a view to their contribution to the understanding of the cultural, ideational and historical aspects of transition (such as collective identity formation, nation building and state formation, and discursive legacies). It is noted in conclusion, however, that although there is increasing sensitivity towards the diversity of post-communist societies, major steps are still required in order to overcome modernisationist, Western-centric and economic-determinist thinking.
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