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The CER Bookshop
Selection and commentary by Yulia Melnichuk

Social Stratification and Mobility

  • Birdsall, Nancy and Graham, Carol (eds);
    New Markets, New Opportunities?: Economic and Social
    Mobility in a Changing World
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
    A good book for those curious about the roots of economic and social inequality. As part of a more general attempt to discover whether social inequality is inherent to the market economy, the author examines recent trends in social mobility and stratificational changes in Central and Eastern Europe during the period of transition, as well as in the developing economies of Latin America.
  • Domanski, Henryk;
    On the Verge of Convergence: Social Stratification
    in Eastern Europe
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
    The latest research on social structure, mobility and inequality in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Russia and Slovakia, inluding comparative data.
  • Eyal, Gil; Szelényi, Iván and Townsley, Eleanor;
    Making Capitalism Without Capitalists: Class Formation
    and Elite Struggles in Post-Communist Central Europe
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
    How can capitalism be built without capitalists? This book provides a sociological account of the 1989 break-up of the USSR and consequent changes, developing an original theory of social stratification of post-Communist societies.
    See Seán Hanley's review in CER.
  • Higley, John and Lengyel, Gyorgy (eds);
    Elites After State Socialism: Theories and Analysis (2000)
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
    Detailed accounts concerning Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, Serbia, Slovakia and Russia.
  • Potůček, Martin;
    Not Only the Market: The Role of the Market, Government and
    Civic Sector in the Development of Postcommunist Societies
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
    Using the Czech Republic as the prime focus of study (with occasional references to other countries), the author attempts to discover the balance between the market, government and public sector during transition. A wide range of developmental economic and social issues are explored.
    See Seán Hanley's review in CER.

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Social Institutions

  • Bunce, Valerie;
    Subversive Institutions: The Design and the Destruction of
    Socialism and the State
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
    The author uses two factors—institutional design and opportunities for change—to develop an original explanation of societal changes in the former socialist bloc. She also discusses the reasons for peaceful and violent versions of such transformation. Examples include Czechoslovakia, the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia.
  • Clague, Christopher;
    Institutions and Economic Development: Growth and Governance
    in Less-Developed and Post-Socialist Countries
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
    On the basis of an analysis of economic transformations in Central and Eastern Europe, authors show how successful reform depends on the performance of governmental and business institutions, as well as patterns of community participation.
  • Elster, Jon; Offe, Claus and Preuss, Ulrich K;
    Institutional Design in Post-Communist Societies:
    Rebuilding the Ship at Sea
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
    An extensive empirical study of the performance of economic and political institutions in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia is combined with a theoretical evaluation of the difficulties in creating a new political, economic and social order in the region.
  • Hausner, Jerzy; Jessop, Bob and Nielsen, Klaus (eds);
    Strategic Choice and Path-Dependency in Post-Socialism:
    Institutional Dynamics in the Transformation Process
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
  • Solnick, Steven L;
    Stealing the State: Control and Collapse in Soviet Institutions (1999)
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
    An unconventional theory of collapse of the USSR system. Working in a neo-institutional theoretical framework, the author argues that the main reason for system failure was opportunism from within. On the basis of three organizational case studies, extensive archive work and interviews, he argues that even before Gorbachev, control mechanisms in Soviet bureaucracies were weak. When transformations began, they expanded into open insubordination.

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Social Groups, Selected

  • Crowe, David M;
    A History of the Gypsies of Eastern Europe and Russia (1996)
    (from Amazon.com)
  • Lieberman Van Hoorn, Judith (ed); Kimlosi, Akos and Suchar, Elzbieta;
    Adolescent Development and Rapid Social Change:
    Perspectives from Eastern Europe
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
  • Renne, Tanya;
    Ana's Land: Sisterhood in Eastern Europe (1997)
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
  • Sinyavsky, Andrei and Visson, Lynn;
    The Russian Intelligentsia (1997)
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
    This book describes the role of the Russian intelligentsia in economic and political changes in the 1990s.

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Urban Sociology & Migration

  • Andrusz, Gregory; Harloe, Michael and Szelenyi, Ivan (eds);
    Cities After Socialism: Urban and Regional Change and
    Conflict in Post-Socialist Societies
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
    Studies on urban change during transition, including the impact of privatization, structural change, housing movements, city case studies and more.
  • Iglicka, Krystyna and Sword, Keith (eds);
    The Challenge of East-West Migration for Poland (1998)
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
    A collection of articles on recent migrational trends in Poland. Studies cover legislation, institutions, social attitudes towards emigrants and case studies, as well as border-related issues (such as informal markets and petty trade).

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Culture, Everyday Life & Language

  • Barker, Adele Marie (ed);
    Consuming Russia: Popular Culture, Sex, and Society Since
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
    An easy-to-read, yet comprehensive book on contemporary Russian popular culture. Themes include the economy, religion, media, art, teen trends and more.
  • Drakulić, Slavenka;
    Café Europa: Life After Communism (1999)
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
    A journalistic socio-psychological study of everyday life in post-Communist societies.
  • Dunn, J A and Hill, Ronald (eds);
    Language and Society in Post-Communist Europe: Selected
    Papers from the Fifth World Congress of Central and East
    European Studies, Warsaw, 1995
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
    A series of articles discussing current trends in the sociolinguistic situation in post-Communist societies. Topics include political transformations, media impact, Western cultural influences and more.
  • Dutkina, Galina and Fitzpatrick, Catherine (trans);
    Moscow Days: Life and Hard Times in the New Russia (1996)
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
    A thriller-style book by a Moscow-based journalist on life in the new Russia. Revealing stories of what may remain hidden from a short-time visitor, yet is an everyday reality for Russians.
  • Ugresic, Dubravka and Hawkesworth, Celia (trans);
    The Culture of Lies: Antipolitical Essays (1998)
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
    A collection of articles on various aspects of life in contemporary Croatia—from the political to the personal.
  • Weiss, Berne and Bergquist, William H;
    Freedom!: Narratives of Change in Hungary and Estonia (1994)
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
    An interesting book on the first years of changes in Hungary and Estonia. Through personal stories, this book tells of the discovery of freedom by ordinary people in Central and East European countries.

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  • Giorgi, Liana and Schlesinger, Philip;
    The Post-Socialist Media: What Power the West?: The Changing
    Media Landscape in Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
  • O'Neil, Patrick H (ed);
    Post-Communism and the Media in Eastern Europe (1997)
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)

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  • Adam, Jan;
    Social Costs of Transformation to a Market Economy in
    Post-Socialist Countries: The Case of Poland, the
    Czech Republic, and Hungary
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
  • Balcerowicz, Leszek; Gray, Cheryl W and Hoshi, Iraj (eds);
    Enterprise Exit Processes in Transition Economies (1998)
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
    A good book for those interested in micro-economic aspects of economic reform in Central and Eastern Europe. Provides a discussion of different exit strategies used by industrial enterprises in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland as part of economic restructuring.
  • Gustafson, Thane;
    Capitalism Russian-Style (2000)
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
    An up-to-date analysis of economic reforms in Russia. Together with a summary of recent progress in legislation and institution-building, the author discusses the role of different groups (entrepreneurs, mafia, government, etc) in economic restructuring.
  • Kornai, Janos;
    Highway and Byways: Studies on Reform and Post-Communist
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
    The Hungarian economist and passionate apologist of market economies reflects on the contradictory experiences of economic reforms in Central and Eastern Europe.
  • Lavigne, Marie;
    The Economics of Transition: From Socialist Economy
    to Market Economy
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
    A good introductory book on economic history and current macro-economic changes in Central and Eastern Europe. Contains a great deal of statistical and factual information, as well as comparative research.
  • Ledeneva, Alena C;
    Russia's Economy of Favours: Blat, Networking and
    Informal Exchanges
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
    An analysis of informal economic and social networks—an essential part of Russia's economy today.
  • Rapaczynski, Andrzej; Murphy, Kenneth and Frydman, Roman;
    Capitalism with a Comrade's Face (1998)
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
    See Michael Kopanic Jr's review in CER.
  • Rein, Martin; Friedman, Barry L and Worgotter, Andreas (eds);
    Enterprise and Social Benefits After Communism (1997)
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
    A country-by-country discussion of changes in the system of workers' social benefits during the reforms.
  • Shleifer, Andrei and Treisman, Daniel;
    Without a Map: Political Tactics and Economic Reform
    in Russia
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
    A detailed account of Russian economic reform, with a thorough analysis of the reasons for failures and successes. In conclusion, the authors, who are former advisors to Russia, provide recommendations on future political strategies for economic reform. Reflects a good knowledge of Russia's background.
  • Woodruff, David M;
    Money Unmade: Barter and the Fate of Russian Capitalism (1999)
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
    Another experience-rich book on the Russian economy. Provides an analysis of the barter system of economy and its deep economic and political consequences for society.
  • Zwass, Adam;
    Incomplete Revolutions: The Successes and Failures of Capitalist
    Transition Strategies in Post-Communist Economies
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)

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Politics & Civil Society

  • Cohen, Shari J;
    Politics Without a Past: The Absence of History in
    Post-Communist Nationalism
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
    Using extensive field researh on political life in post-Communist countries, the author argues that present intra-national tensions and agressive nationalism are consequences of the current ideological vacuum and general political indifference in the region, and not deeply rooted national identities of the past, as often argued. To support her arguments, the author uses Slovakia as a case study.
  • Dahrendorf, Ralf;
    After 1989: Morals, Revolution and Civil Society (1997)
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
    A collection of lectures by the well-known social theorist Ralf Dahrendorf, in which he expresses his visions, hopes and fears for the new democratic societies in Central and Eastern Europe.
  • Derleth, J William;
    Transition in Central and Eastern European Politics (1999)
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
    A detailed comparative study of the political systems of Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland and Russia, with broad historical references. This work also includes an analysis of factors that have influenced economic, political and social development in Central and Eastern Europe since 1989. A good introductory book in comparative politics.
  • Eckstein, Harry; Fleron, Frederic; Almond, Gabriel and Reisinger, William (eds);
    Can Democracy Take Root in Post-Soviet Russia?:
    Explorations in State-Society Relations
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
  • Fitzmaurice, John;
    Politics and Government in the Visegrad Countries: Poland,
    Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
    A thorough and up-to-date comparative overview of political systems and civil societies of the four prospective EU members.
  • Gordy, Eric D;
    The Culture of Power in Serbia: Nationalism and
    the Destruction of Alternatives
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
    A study of the political culture of Milošević's Serbia.
  • Jaquette, Jane S and Wolchik, Sharon L;
    Women and Democracy: Latin America and Central and
    Eastern Europe
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
    A distinctive comparative analysis of women's political participation during the move from authoritarianism to democracy in the regions of Latin America and Central and Eastern Europe.
  • Kitschelt, Herbert; Mansfeldova, Zdenka and Toka, Gabor;
    Post-Communist Party Systems: Competition, Representation,
    and Inter-Party Cooperation
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
    A meticulous quantitative study of democratic party competition in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland, primarily from 1993 to 1998. Research methodology includes: elite and electorate surveys, factor analytical and regression techniques, as well as several compound indexes.
  • Lang-Pickvance, Katy; Manning, Nick and Pickvance, Chris (eds);
    Environmental and Housing Movements: Grassroots Experience
    in Hungary, Russia and Estonia
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
  • McCollum, James K;
    Is Communism Dead Forever? (1998)
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
    In the form of the personal life story of Dana Munteanu in Romania from 1955 through 1989, the author reveals existing challenges to the newly established Central and East European democracies. He concludes with some ideas on how to overcome the burden of the past.
  • Quinn, Frederick;
    Democracy at Dawn: Notes from Poland and Points East (1998)
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
    A personal travel journal by a former judicial counselor in Central and Eastern Europe shares experiences and thoughts on current political and legal systems in the region.
  • Rose, Richard; Mishler, William and Haerpfer, Christian;
    Democracy and Its Alternatives: Understanding
    Post-Communist Societies
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
    An assessment of current democratic developments in Belarus, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine.
  • Tismaneanu, Vladimir;
    Fantasies of Salvation (1998)
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
    Nationalism in its Romanian, Russian and Yugoslav versions is examined as the main threat to democracy in Central and Eastern Europe.
  • Thomas, Robert;
    The Politics of Serbia in the 1990s (1999)
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
    A very detailed report of Serbian political events and conflicts from 1990 to 1998, with an analysis of political moves and techniques used by Milošević in both domestic and foreign policy.

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Sociology of Transition

  • Antohi, Sorin and Tismaneanu, Vladimir (eds);
    Between Past and Future : The Revolutions of 1989 and
    Their Aftermath
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
    A collection of papers from a recent international conference on democratic revolutions in Central and Eastern Europe and their legacies. Topics include modernity and discontent, economic reforms and their social impact, ethnicity, nationalism and religion, geopolitics, electoral and political systems, European integration and more.
  • Braun, Aurel and Barany, Zoltan (eds);
    Dilemmas of Transition: The Hungarian Experience (1999)
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
    An account of the Hungarian experience of transition in various areas of the economy, politics, social life, civil society, foreign policy and more.
  • Creed, Gerald;
    Domesticating Revolution: From Socialist Reform to
    Ambivalent Transition in a Bulgarian Village
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
    A story of revolution as experienced by people from a Bulgarian village. Real-life accounts and experiences.
  • Pickles, J and Smith, Adrian (eds);
    Theorising Transition: The Political Economy of
    Post-Communist Transformations
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
    Another collection of studies on the complexities of transition. Experts from different backgrounds (geographers, economists, sociologists, feminists and others) examine changes from a variety of perspectives and give their interpretations.
  • Verdery, Katherine;
    What Was Socialism, and What Comes Next? (1996)
    (from Amazon.com), (from Amazon.co.uk)
    An ethnographic analysis of the end of socialism and its aftermath. Writing on the border between anthropology and sociology, the author provides a highly original view of the essence of political transformation and its broader outcomes for the region. Based on Romanian/Transylvanian experience, her analysis of the major issues of transition (market, civil soiety, gender, nationalism, politics, etc) offers a unique explanation of the social processes beneath transformation.

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Selection and commentary by Yulia Melnichuk

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