CHALLENGES OF TRANSITION IN EASTERN EUROPE:
Lessons for Civic Education
There are huge differences in the way Eastern European countries experienced the transition from communism to democracy – stories of rapid progress and of persisting stagnation; of reconciliation and of war; of gain and of loss; of new mobility and of enduring restriction; of democratization and of democratic recession. While the economic and political implications are what has been mostly discussed, the impact on the culture and civility of people has been neglected. This small collection of essays captures the key challenges of transition, its impact of today's state of democracy, and the subsequent implications for civic education.
GENERATION OF TRANSITION IN EASTERN EUROPE:
A closer look
Is there a generation of transition in Eastern Europe and if so, what are its values and attitudes towards democracy and active citizenship? The generation of transition is defined here as the age-cohort born in post-communist Eastern Europe between 1975 and 1995. The ones that have witnessed the collapse of a totalitarian regime with an omnipresent ideology, the breakdown of economies, the dissolution of their respective countries and war. If anything, this generation is one of uncertainties. Today, the generation of transition forms the current and future leaders in politics, culture and institutions. This makes it worthwhile investigating how formative transition has been for its worldview.
MAPPING TRANSITION IN EASTERN EUROPE:
Experience of change after communism
With rise of populism, illiberalism and xenophobia in EU’s Eastern Europe, a key question has become “what went wrong?”. Eastern Europe needs a different approach, which begins with a closer look into both the communist period and the variety of transitional experiences of the past. We aim to demonstrate that unless political culture becomes a centerpiece of the democratization efforts, transition will be continuously perceived by many citizens as a failure. Legacies of the past will continue to loom in the present, opening space for illiberal and populist forces to determine the future of democracy.
The Black Sea region amidst the European Union and Russia
Our collection “Unrewarding crossroads? The Black Sea Region amidst the European Union and Russia”, edited by Anahit Shirinyan and Louisa Slavkova, is designed to gather expertise from the region and beyond in order to highlight the foreign policy challenges currently faced by the Black Sea countries. The project was funded by the Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation and the Robert Bosch Stiftung. The publication is printed with the support of America for Bulgaria Foundation.
CATALOGUE "25 YEARS OF FREEDOM IN BULGARIA"
Anniversaries have a lot to do with the culture of remembrance. And while in other parts of Europe 2014 was marked by the 100th anniversary of the “Great war”, for us Eastern Europeans, the fall of the Berlin Wall was a good moment to draw a balance-sheet – 25 years ago a regime fell, which had enforced inhumane political standards, had led to the social and economic catastrophe of whole regions and states. What went right and what went wrong in the years of transition from a totalitarian rule to pluralism and democracy?
25 YEARS OF CHANGES: BOUNDARIES AND THE PERIODISATION OF THE TRANSITION, THE INSTITUTIONS AND THE DEMOCRACY QUALITY IN BULGARIA
The publication is a collection of papers presented during the academic conference “25 Years of Change” - part of Sofia Platform's initiative “25 Years Free Bulgaria”, which celebrated the 25 anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall under the auspices of the President of the Republic of Bulgaria Rosen Plevneliev. The collection contains a number of high quality scholarly analyses focusing of the transition as a process, the transition experience of the countries in Eastern Europe, the politics and faces of transition and finally, on how the past can influence the process of transition.