Cover

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Title Page, About the Series, Copyright

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Contents

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p. v

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Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-ix

My exploration of the cultural formations of postcommunism is a reflection of the University of Michigan’s international and interdisciplinary culture. I first met transition culture through the University of Michigan Business School and its MBA Corps. The Center for International Business Education initially supported my study of that work and other similar efforts across the world. The William Davidson Institute at the...

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Introduction: Cultural Formations of Postcommunism

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pp. 1-43

It is a cliché. The world was dramatically transformed in 1989, much as it was in 1789 or 1848. Political and economic systems and everyday lives were radically changed. Transition typically names this epoch whose two mantras—from plan to market and from dictatorship to democracy—anchored a new liberal hegemony in the world, and especially in Eastern...

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1. Emancipation and Civil Society

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pp. 44-90

1989 is transition culture’s genesis. At least it is its historical point of departure, but it is rarely its object of critical focus. When 1989 is addressed within transition culture, it is typically discussed in terms of pacts and negotiations on the way to capitalism and democracy. In this approach, analysts treat socialism as background, and focus rather on the strategies of radicals and reformers on both sides of the negotiating divide...

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2. Transition Culture and Transition Poverty

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pp. 91-118

The making of the market, not the construction of civil society per se, became the central problematic of social change after communism’s collapse. To be sure, civil society and the democratic, if not also efficacious, state animate many efforts and Web sites dealing with postcommunist social transformations.2 But through the mid-1990s at least, broad social...

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3. Transition Culture in Business Practice

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pp. 119-148

The cultural encounters between American business advisers and East European managers in promising companies, in transition culture’s most promising nations, should be one of the places where transition culture finds its smoothest local translations.1 As in general, the opposition between a socialist past and a capitalist future clearly structures transition culture in business...

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4. Transition, Freedom, and Nationalism

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pp. 149-190

Mart Laar, the prime minister of Estonia from 1992 to 1994 and chair of the Pro Patria coalition, said the following on May 2, 1995, when reflecting on the meaning of the preceding four years of independence: The most basic and vital change of all . . . had to take place in the hearts and minds of Estonia’s people. Without a major readjustment of attitudes, the postcommunist predicament would become a trap, and the...

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5. Environmental Problems, Civility, and Loss in Transition

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pp. 191-225

Transition culture is not the only cultural formation informing and interpreting change in communism’s collapse and aftermath. As the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) report suggested, one could understand this period as a time of terrific loss and impoverishment. The elements of this analytical narrative can also be incorporated into a much more...

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6. Transition Culture and Nationalism's Wars

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pp. 226-269

On July 11, 1995, Srebrenica, one of six “safe areas” supposedly secured by United Nations Protection Forces (UNPROFOR) in Bosnia- Herzegovina, was attacked.1 Bosnian Serbs entered the city and took it over from the 450 Dutch national UN troops assigned to protect it. NATO aircraft launched two strikes against the Serbs, but relented and accepted the takeover when the Serbs threatened to kill thirty-six Dutch troops...

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Conclusion: Critical Transition Culture

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pp. 270-302

The cultural formations of postcommunism are no simple reflection of something more real. Transition culture has shaped the strategies and practices of all sorts of actors, from the World Bank to those whose lives have been turned around by the movement “from plan to market.” Transition culture has made a radically new process of social change sensible by emphasizing certain processes, competencies, and epistemologies in...

Appendix A: Interview Schedule for Focus Groups

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pp. 303-308

Appendix B: Coding Scheme for Focus Group Narratives

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pp. 309-312

Notes

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pp. 313-358

Index

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pp. 359-369

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About the Author

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pp. 370-370

Michael D. Kennedy is vice provost for international affairs, director of the International Institute, and professor of sociology at the University of Michigan. He serves on the executive committee for the Center...