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Academic Research Network 1989

Towards 2009, the 20th anniversary of 1989, a global window of attention opens. While particularly in Central and Eastern Europe participants, observers and academics will be recording their interpretations, 1989 was also a global and world-historical event. 1989 happened in Central and Eastern Europe, but it did so too in China or Western Europe, in East Asia or North America. The end of that which has been called the East-West divide, Cold War, Soviet empire, communist party rule, state socialism and so on, is world historically significant, as is the social and cultural transformation that ensued. 1989 was a watershed for events which came in its aftermath: a new geopolitical configuration, European Union enlargement, trans-national economics and changing values on both sides of the Berlin Wall. Yet, cultural, economic, legal, political and social interpretations are intertwined with the flow of history and are themselves subject to appropriation and revision by actors. ‘Before’ and ‘after’ 1989 are thus inextricably linked.

The Working Paper Series

Working papers may present original research, a critical review or a theoretical argument – indeed, no presumption is made as to format and content of the working paper. Research on the Cold War and the Soviet system as well as on the transition after 1989 has produced large amounts of published knowledge. However, this research has been overwhelmingly either occidentalistic, following a modernisation paradigm, or regionalistic, by chronicling local change. We contend that the larger European and global configuration of the causes and consequences of 1989 have been missed. 1989 was also a global and world-historical event. 1989 happened in Central and Eastern Europe, but it did so too in China or Western Europe, in East Asia or North America. The end of that which has been called the East-West divide, Cold War, Soviet empire, communist party rule, state socialism and so on, is world historically significant, as is the social and cultural transformation that ensued. 1989 was a watershed for events which came in its aftermath: a new geopolitical configuration, European Union enlargement, trans-national economics and changing values on both sides of the Berlin Wall. Moreover, a new generation of scholars is entering the academy, free from the shackles of the Cold War and older ideological battles. For the first time in three generations a genuinely free flow of scholars and ideas between East and West is possible. Over the coming decade, we expect this new generation of international scholars to create new and groundbreaking knowledge on the causes and consequences of 1989 in Europe and worldwide. We would like to capture and disseminate the best of this work as early as possible in a working paper series.

Copyright remains with the author(s), but the Social Science Open Access Repository (SSOAR, host of the working paper series) in conjunction with the GESIS (host of the Knowledge Base Eastern Europe, which includes the website of the Research Network 1989) has the right to host the working paper in perpetuity.

Link to the Working Papers: http://www.cee-socialscience.net/1989/papers/index.html

 

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