Communism's Collapse, Democracy's Demise?: Cultural Context by Laurence Mcfalls PDF

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By Laurence Mcfalls

ISBN-10: 0333628179

ISBN-13: 9780333628171

Communism's cave in either caused and used to be sped up via the long-anticipated reunification of Germany. What have been the political and social undercurrents that ended in the abrupt cave in of East Germany? What difficulties have arisen due to the fact reunification? sincerely, communism has left a cultural and political void that begs to be assessed.

Laurence McFalls the following deals a whole knowing of communism's cave in, offering a proof for the cultural conflicts and the id drawback that experience Germany in view that reunification. trying out the validity of the typical theories of jap ecu cave in, the paintings criticizes those systemic causes of East Germany's dying for failing take into consideration the motivations of normal electorate who, McFalls asserts, eventually toppled the regime. to respond to the query who overthrew Honecker?, McFalls has interviewed over two hundred East Germans, opting for the first avid gamers who caused the East German revolution of 1989.

In his in-depth exam of the factitious German country, McFalls exposes the historic, fiscal, social, and political legacy of communism. tough and provocative, Communism's cave in, Democracy's Demise? might be of curiosity to a wide scope of students of sociology, historians, political philosophers, and political scientiests.

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Extra info for Communism's Collapse, Democracy's Demise?: Cultural Context and Consequences of the East German Revolution

Example text

As one not untypical respondent recounted: 'In 1949, a bread roll with jam was an accomplishment [Errungenschaft, the word commonly used to describe the regime's successes]. "' Just exactly what the system was or would be, however, was not entirely clear until well after the GDR's founding on 7 October 1949. Already in 1945 the Soviet occupation authorities had introduced substantial socio-economic reforms, beginning with an expropriation of all landholdings over 100 hectares. Since the Soviets redistributed the land to over half-a-million smallholders including refugees from East Prussia, Silesia and Pomerania, this land reform was clearly not communising in intent.

The qualitative interpretation of my survey findings allows me to describe that common experience and consequently to develop a cultural analysis of East German communism's relative stability until the mid-1980s, its subsequent erosion, and its legacy for contemporary German politics. What is more, the statistical analysis of my survey permits me to test the explanatory limits not only of common structural accounts of East German communism's collapse but of the motives for protest that my cultural analysis suggests.

In Chapter 3, I consider the common existing explanations for communism's collapse in the GDR. On the basis of my own survey findings and other sources, I test and reject hypotheses drawn from the general theories (sketched above) of the weaknesses of totalitarian communist political, economic and social structures as well as hypotheses particular to the East German problem of national identity. Specifically, I argue that the origins of the popular revolution, or what the Germans call the Wende (turnabout), did not lie in nationalist revival, in political delegitimation of the regime, in economic crisis, in resurgent civil society and organised opposition, in altered international constraints, or in changing opportunity structures for individual rational actors.

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Communism's Collapse, Democracy's Demise?: Cultural Context and Consequences of the East German Revolution by Laurence Mcfalls

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