Despite controversies over the contents of political reform, a commitment to reform served as a binding force for both Eastern Europe and China right until the spring of 1989. Paradoxically, the same reform processes—which on both sides initially ran parallel, serving as a point of reference and contributing to the renormalization of relations—had, by 1989, led to diametrically opposite political solutions and turned into a source for difference and separation.
Up until 1989, vitally no one had expected that the developments in Eastern Europe could lead to the total collapse of communism in the foreseeable future. Using new material from Hungarian archives, authors Csaba Békés, Béla Révész, and Barnabás Vajda assess the impact of the Bush-Gorbachev meeting at Malta in light of the political climate of 1989.
In CWIHP e-Dossier No. 50, Péter Vámos addresses the controversy over the Chinese role in the Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956. Using documents from the Chinese Foreign Ministry Archive in Beijing, Vámos argues that the official Chinese position was a distortion of actual events.
Washington, D.C.: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; Kennan Institute Occasional Paper Series #109, 1980. PDF 40 pages.
Washington, D.C.: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; Kennan Institute Occasional Paper Series #45, 1978. PDF 57 pages.
In CWIHP Working Paper No. 66, “The ‘Club of Politically Engaged Conformists’? The Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, Popular Opinion and the Crisis of Communism, 1956,” Kevin McDermott and Vítězslav Sommer argue that 1956 represented a ‘crisis of communism’ of monumental proportions in Eastern Europe, but that Czechoslovakia remained a haven of political stability, ideological orthodoxy and social cohesion despite the upheavals occurring in neighboring Poland and Hungary.
The Cold War in the Third World and the Collapse of Detente in the 1970s
This conference aimed at exploring the experiences and the political goals of women elected to parliament in the postcommunist countries of East Central Europe and Russia. Since 1989, the political scene in Eastern Europe and Russia has changed swiftly. In many countries, women participated in the drive to transform the communist system through demonstrations, civil activism and roundtables.Yet, in the immediate transition period, civic participation of the population in general has declined and the social and political participation of women seems to have declined more than that of men. This difference is attributed in part to the fact that women have been more burdened by the complex adjustments to the social and economic transformations of their societies. In the last few years, however, women with good qualifications and professional experience are slowly gaining political power and influence in several countries.
October 2001- Budapest was the fastest growing European city in the 19th century and about a quarter of its population was Jewish. Jews in Eastern Europe have functioned like the canary in the mine: what happened to the canary would soon enough happen to the miners. The degree Hungarian Jews felt included, excluded, then ambivalent and confused about leaving or staying also provides a glimpse of the history of Hungarian nationalism in its various manifestations between 1848 and the present.
June 1997 - Transition in the Hungarian higher education system, begun with high hopes about ten years ago, has proven to be slow and difficult. Erno Zalai , professor and chair of mathematical economics and econometrics at the University of Economic Sciences in Budapest, Hungary, and a Wilson Center Guest Scholar, acknowledged that he and his colleagues greatly underestimated the magnitude of the political, economic, and cultural gap between East-Central Europe and Western Europe.