The transformation of Eastern Europe after 1989 has been explained as an adaptation to the Western model, connecting free market economy and liberal democracy. But recent experiences of political clashes and instability in Bulgaria and Romania and the earlier political troubles which emerged in East Central Europe when they joined the EU suggests another assumption: that post-socialist Eastern Europe can be understood as a harbinger that shows the West a possible future scenario of its own model. There is also a lesson to be learnt from Eastern Europe: without both a strong social state and political class willing to reduce the permanently emerging inequalities within capitalism, the democratic order is endangered by rising populist politics.
The topic looks at the emergence of democracy in eastern Europe and the problem of weak welfare states. It should therefore be of fundamental interest to those working on democracy and welfare and/or have a regional interest in Europe
This is part of the CREES 50th Anniversary Seminar series. The 45 minute talk (to be followed by time for questions) will be given by Prof. D. Segert, Institute for Political Science, The University of Vienna.