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Politics books
Selection and commentary by CER staff


  • Berglund, Sten; Hellen, Tomas & Aarebrot, Frank;
    The Handbook of Political Change in Eastern Europe(1998)
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
    Great reference guide to CEE countries and their progress in transition, Analyzing the major characteristics of political systems in a comparative perspective. Case studies include Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech and Slovak Republics, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovenia.
  • Biberaj, Elez;
    Albania in Transition:
    The Rocky Road to Democracy
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
  • Bruzt, Laszlo & Stark, David Charles;
    Postsocialist Pathways: Transforming Politics
    and Property in East Central Europe
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
  • Buck-Morss, Susan;
    Dreamworld and Catastrophe: The Passing of Mass Utopia in East and West (2000)
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
    See Sam Vaknin's review in CER.
  • Bull, Martin & Ingham, Mike;
    Reform of the Socialist System in Central and Eastern Europe
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
  • Dawisha, Karen & Parrott, Bruce;
    Democratic Changes and Authoritarian Reactions in Russia,
    Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova (Democratization and
    Authoritarianism in Post-Communist societies
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
    In-depth theoretical and comparative analysis of the democratization process in Russia and three Western NIS.
  • Dawisha, Karen & Parrott, Bruce;
    Politics, Power, and the Struggle for Democracy in
    South-East Europe
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
  • Dragnich, Alex;
    Serbia and Yugoslavia:
    Historical Studies and Contemporary Commentaries
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
  • Gorbachev, Mikhail & Shriver, George;
    Gorbachev : On My Country and the World (1999)
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
    Mikhail Gorbachev reflects upon Russia's past, present and future, as well as her role in the international politics. Great book to understand hidden forces and personalities of the recent political changes in the region.
  • Gow, James;
    Triumph of the Lack of Will:
    International Diplomacy and the Yugoslav War (1997)
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
  • Haerpfer, Christian; Mischler, William & Rose, Richard;
    Democracy and Its Alternatives:
    Understanding Post-Communist Societies
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
  • Harding, Jeremy;
    The Uninvited: Refugees at the Rich Man's Gate (2000)
    (from Amazon.co.uk)
    See Oliver Craske's review in CER.
  • Havel, Václav; Anson, Paul & Wilson, Paul;
    The Art of the Impossible: Politics As Morality
    in Practice Speeches and Writings, 1990-1996
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
    The title speaks for itself—Václav Havel thoughts on the nature of politics. A good book to understand the ideology of CEE democratic change.
  • Havel, Václav & Wilson, Paul;
    Summer Meditations (1993)
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
    Another book by Havel, written during the years of his presidency. Reflections upon life realities and ways to a better, more humanistic form of politics.
  • Higley, John;
    Postcommunist Elites and Democracy in Eastern Europe (1998)
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
  • Hunter, Richard J & Ryan, Leo V;
    From Autarchy to Market: Polish Economics and Politics, 1945-1995 (1998)
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
  • Karatnycky, Adrian; Motyl, Alexander & Graybow, Charles;
    Nations in Transit-1998: Civil Society, Democracy And Markets
    In East Central Europe And Newly Independent States
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
    Great dictionary style book on CEE Europe. Offers country-by-country reports that assess political and economic progress, based on a set of selected indicators.
  • Khazanov, Anatoly;
    After the USSR : Ethnicity, Nationalism, and Politics
    in the Commonwealth of Independent States
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
    Intelligent analysis of the twisted relationship between nationalism, ethnicity and politics during and after the break-up of the USSR. Good addition to better understanding of the roots of the nationalism in the post-Soviet countries.
  • Korosenyi, Andras;
    Government and Politics in Hungary (1999)
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
  • Kuzio, Taras;
    Ukraine Under Kuchma : Political Reform, Economic
    Transformation and Security Policy in Independent Ukraine

    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
    Detailed report on political and economic situation in Ukraine after 1994, including the discussion of the Crimean question.
  • Lord, Christopher (ed);
    Central Europe: Core or Periphery? (2000)
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
    See Dick Nilsson's review in CER.
  • Melone, Albert P;
    Creating Parliamentary Government: The Transition to Democracy in Bulgaria(1998)
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
  • Michnik, Adam;
    Letters from Freedom: Post-Cold War Realities
    and Perspectives
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
    Nice collection of interviews, articles and essays of famous Polish writer and public figure Adam Michnik. A must-read for those studying political and social changes in Eastern Europe over the last two decades, as well as for admirers of non-violent social change.
  • Musil, Jiří;
    The End of Czechoslovakia (1995)
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
    A variety of scholars attempt to discover the causes for the Velvet Divorce and explain the historical tensions that were present in the Czechoslovak Federation.
  • O'Neil, Patrick H;
    Post-Communism and the Media in Eastern Europe (1997)
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
  • Pavkovic, Aleksandar; Koscharsky, Halyna & Czarnota, Adam;
    Nationalism and Postcommunism : A Collection of Essays (1995)
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
    A series of articles on the distinctive nature and specific performances of the nationalism in its postcommunist version.
  • Pelinka, Anton;
    Politics of the Lesser Evil:
    Leadership, Democracy, and Jaruzelski's Poland
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
  • Plasser, Fritz; Ulram, Peter A & Harald, Waldrauch.
    Democratic Consolidation in Eastern Europe (1998)
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
  • Quinn, Frederick;
    Democracy at Dawn: Notes from Poland and Points East (1998)
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
  • Ramet, Sabrina P;
    The Radical Right in Central and Eastern Europe Since 1989
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
  • Ramet, Sabrina P;
    Whose Democracy?: Nationalism, Religion,
    and the Doctrine of Collective Rights in Post 1989
    Eastern Europe
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
    The most painful issues for CEE Europe—ethnithity, nationalism and militant religion—are analyzed in the framework of the concept of "collective rights," as opposed to individual and social rights. The cases covered include Bosnia, Kosovo Albanians, Poland and Slovakia.
  • Schierup, Carl-Ulrik;
    Scramble for the Balkans: Nationalism, Globalism,
    and the Political Economy of Reconstruction
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
  • Shevtsova, Liliia;
    Yeltsin's Russia: Myths and Reality (1998)
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
    Investigative study of the political processes in Russia under Yeltsin. However, some initial knowledge of socio-economic and political situation in Russia is required from the reader.
  • Smith, Graham;
    The Nationalities Question in the Post-Soviet States (1996)
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
    Provides essential information on each of the 15 former Soviet Republics with regard to its ethnic composition, political changes, historical context and culture. Comparative data included.
  • Starr, Richard F;
    Transition to Democracy in Poland (1998)
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
  • Stojanovic, Svetozar;
    The Fall of Yugoslavia: Why Communism Failed (1997)
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
  • Tokes, Rudolf;
    Hungary's Negotiated Revolution: Economic Reform,
    Social Change, and Political Succession, 1957-1990
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
    The book examines Hungary's peaceful transition from Communism to democracy. Based on a great deal of source material and many interviews Tokes gives a detailed outline of the rise and fall of the Kadar regime.
  • Thomas, Robert;
    The Politics of Serbia in the 1990s (1999)
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
  • Vaknin, Sam;
    After the Rain: How the West lost the East (1999)
    (from CER)
    CER columnist Sam Vaknin's collected essays on CEE and how a historic opportunity to unite Europe has been wasted.
  • Von Beyme, Klaus;
    Transition to Democracy in Eastern Europe (1997)
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
    Well-written, thorough analysis of current changes in the political systems of Eastern European countries. Theoretical disussion of a system change (from authoritarianism to democracy) is followed by detailed evaluation of each of the components of Eastern European political systems: political patries and institutions, civil society and elites, nationalism and political culture, and more.
  • Wheen, Francis;
    Karl Marx: A Life (2000)
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
    See Rob Stout's review in CER.
  • Zuzowski, Robert;
    Political Change in Eastern Europe Since 1989:
    Prospects for Liberal Democracy and a Market Economy
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)


After the Rain cover


After the Rain:
How the West Lost the East

Sam Vaknin's book on special offer from CER

Latest update by Yulia Melnichuk

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