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.
December 2004 - The pages that follow, I first place the Hungarian debate into a comparative framework of emerging kin state politics in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), then comment on the particularities of the Hungarian case. The lessons that emerge from this discussion highlight two important aspects of CEE politics today. First, rather than weakening nation-building aspirations, the pursuit of EU membership in many instances reinforces such aspirations. Second, rather than uniting "the nation," some ambitious propositions for nation-building create or reinforce divisions within the population they proposed to unite.
March 2000 - The current trans-Atlantic/European partnership is characterized by some remarkable structural tensions. The overlap between membership in the European Union and NATO is limited to only 11 countries. The European Union (EU) has four members - Austria, Finland, Ireland, Sweden - which, though not officially part of the Alliance, are beneficiaries of NATO's protection. This is a classical free rider situation. It is quite remarkable that one of the four free riders, Austria, is the first EU-member country with a government party holding fifty percent of the decision-making power, whose policies openly denounce the very idea of 'eastern enlargement' on the basis of an argument that posits the essential inferiority of all applicants. That list of "inferior applicants" includes Hungary - an economy in which Austrian capital has been the fourth largest investor since the collapse of socialism.
Relying on the metaphors of plan and clan, this essay endeavors to show the similarities and differences in Hungarian and Russian paths and will evaluate the starting points, factors, processes and outcomes of post-communist transformation in Hungary and Russia. Focusing on clientelistic privatization and corruption networks, as well as on forces countervailing clandestine relationships, the author argues that whereas “clans for market” proved to be an accurate description of Hungary’s development, this interpretation is hardly applicable to Russia. The Russian-style clans endangered market building and prepared the reemergence of “clans for plan.” The following discussion will address what these opposite trajectories may mean for Hungary and Russia, as well as for the world at large.