Society and Culture

Entangled Evolutions: Media and Democratization in Eastern Europe

The revolutions of 1989 swept away Eastern Europe’s communist governments and created expectations on the part of many observers that post-communist media would lead the liberated societies in establishing and embracing democratic political cultures. Peter Gross finds that it was utopian to hold such expectations of the media in societies in transition.

Fragmented Space in the Russian Federation

Russia is a country of great complexity—eighty-nine subject regions, ethnic diversity, economic variance across regions, the power struggle of Moscow versus the regions—and multiple realities—urban versus rural, rich versus poor, and cosmopolitan versus provincial, just to name a few. Fragmented Space in the Russian Federation explores Russia’s complexity and the meanings of the country’s internal borders, the future of its agricultural spaces, the development of its political parties, and the effect of its federal organization.

The Idea of Europe: From Antiquity to the European Union

This is a collection of fascinating essays that address European identity in terms of politics, law, religion, culture, literature, and psychology, asking what “Europe” has meant in the past, and what it will mean in the future. In the massive literature of European integration, no other book takes such a long historical perspective nor deals so directly with the question of identity.

Rural Reform in Post-Soviet Russia

Russian farmers have faced not only the general political and economic trials of their country but also the dismantling of their principal social service provider—the large-scale collective farm, which in the Soviet period furnished employment, housing, health care, day care, and education.

Beyond State Crisis? Post-Colonial Africa and Post-Soviet Eurasia in Comparative Perspective

Beyond State Crisis? Africa and Post-Colonial Eurasia in Comparative Perspective studies sub-Saharan Africa and the former Soviet Union, two regions beset by the breakdown of states suffering from extreme official corruption, organized crime extending into warlordism, the disintegration of human services and economic institutions, and the breakdown of state after state. The book examines state breakdown, democratization, economic reform, ethnicity, and the status of women, and it compares the consequences of postcommunism and postcolonialism.

Commerce in Russian Urban Culture, 1861-1914

Tsarist Russia’s commercial class is today receiving serious attention from both Russian and non-Russian historians. This book is a contribution to that literature. Commerce in Russian Urban Culture, 1861–1914 examines the relation between the entrepreneurial world, especially business and banking, and the cultural milieu of Russia. Going beyond the commercial-cultural connection of charitable activity, the contributors to this collaborative project also study cultural activity undertaken by enterprises for their own purposes, notably bank and commercial architecture.

Regional Russia in Transition: Studies from Yaroslavl'

While the West tends to focus on Russia’s national institutions and practices when assessing the transition to democracy, Russia’s sub-national democratization will largely shape Russians’ views of their new government, willingness to participate in it, and trust in its ability to deliver. Regional and local government not only are nearer to ordinary citizens but have, under Russia’s federated constitution, highly important economic and social functions.

Between the State and Islam

Until recently, the study of the Middle East has focused almost exclusively on Islam and on the regime, especially on its non-democratic aspects. It has done so at the expense of accounting fully for the forces of skepticism, liberty, and creativity that struggle against Islamic conformism and state hegemony.

The Breakdown of Class Politics: A Debate on Post-Industrial Stratification

Class and its linkage to politics became a controversial and exciting topic again in the 1990s. Terry Clark and Seymour Martin Lipset published “Are Social Classes Dying?” in 1991, which sparked a lively debate and much new research. The main critics of Clark and Lipset—at Oxford and Berkeley—held (initially) that class was more persistent than Clark and Lipset suggested. The positions were sharply opposed and involved several conceptual and methodological concerns. But the issues grew more nuanced as further reflections and evidence accumulated.

Second Metropolis: Pragmatic Pluralism in Gilded Age Chicago, Silver Age Moscow, and Meiji Osaka

By comparing North America’s, Russia’s, and Japan’s “second cities”—Chicago, Moscow, and Osaka—Second Metropolis discloses the extent to which social fragmentation, frequently viewed as an obstacle to democratic development, actually fostered a “pragmatic pluralism” that nurtured pluralistic public policies.

Pages