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Managing Transformations in Eastern Europe - Nikolai Genov
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Publication of the "Personal and Institutional Strategies
for Management of Transformation Risks in Central and Eastern Europe" Project

NIKOLAI GENOV
 

MANAGING
TRANSFORMATIONS
IN EASTERN EUROPE


UNESCO-MOST, Paris
Regional and Global Development, Sofia

© Nikolai Genov, author, 1999
ISBN 954-8443-08-2

    To my Eastern European colleagues and friends
    N.G.

    The text was completed during the stay of the author at Lund University as fellow of the Swedish Institute.


CONTENTS

PREFACE

1. MANAGING TRANSFORMATIONS: REALITIES AND CONCEPTS
(in Word format)

    1.1. Where Are We in the Stream of Change?
    1.2. The Concept of Societal Transformation
    1.3. Transformation as Opening to Global Trends
    1.4. Transformation and Risk
2. INSTRUMENTAL ACTIVISM VERSUS SUSTAINABILITY
(in Word format)
    2.1. The New Old International Division of Labor
    2.2. Commercialization and Volatility of Financial Flows
    2.3. Deepening Economic Cleavages
    2.4. What Went Wrong?
3. INDIVIDUALIZATION VERSUS COMMON GOOD
(in Word format)
    3.1. The Longing for Community and the Hard Realities
    3.2. Individualization under Institutional Disarray
    3.3. Openings and Closures
    3.4. Counterbalances to Individualization
4. ORGANIZATIONAL PATHOLOGIES VERSUS ORGANIZATIONAL RATIONALITY (in Word format)
    4.1. Differentiation of Economy and Politics
    4.2. Anomie and the Crime Wave
    4.3. The Integrative Functions of the State
    4.4. The Search for Alternatives
5. PARTICULARISMS VERSUS VALUE-NORMATIVE UNIVERSALIZATION
(in Word format)
    5.1. Value-normative Disorientation
    5.2. National Integration, Nationalism and Xenophobia
    5.3. Cultural Perspectives of Democratic Governance
6. EASTERN EUROPE: WHERE TO?
(in Word format)
    6.1. Dynamic Contexts of the Changing Quality of Life
    6.2. Contradictory Trends of Social Differentiation and Integration
    6.3. Explaining and Managing Transformations: The Time for Social Sciences
NOTES
REFERENCES


PREFACE

After a decade of multifaceted experience, the time is ripe for striking the balance of our knowledge about the transformations in Eastern Europe. We are able now to clearly recognize both the achievements and the constraints of the process. Undoubtedly, there have been tremendous efforts invested in modernizing the economic organization of Eastern European societies. The positive results in developing democratic political systems are obvious. Everywhere in the region the open pluralistic culture has taken the lead. The international institutions recognize the advancements in the field of basic human rights. There are no more administrative limitations imposed on organization, communication and traveling of individuals. As seen from the point of view of these achievements, Eastern Europe is heading towards a promising development in the next century.

However, analysts are also unanimous in the point that in the course of this development major deficiencies and imbalances will have to be overcome. Some of them stem from the centuries of underdevelopment of most Eastern European societies. Others have been brought about or aggravated by processes during the last decade. As a whole, the Eastern European region still suffers from the effects of an economic depression deeper than the one, which the world experienced in the thirties. There are numerous unanswered questions concerning the prospects of political institutions, since the social structures needed for a smooth democratic government are still unstable. High level of unemployment and impoverishment of large groups of society mark the dark side of daily life in the region.

It is this mixture of remarkable achievements and burning social problems, which makes the transformations in Eastern Europe especially relevant for scientific analysis and for practical action alike. We have learned a lot from the events of the fascinating decade following the fall of the Berlin wall. Now we are much better aware of the mutual influence of processes at global, regional, national and sub-national levels. We know more about the limitations of social institutions in managing the profound social change. Given the recent experience, we have to be realistic in our claims about the explanatory and prognostic power of social sciences.

One can hardly imagine an author who could be better prepared to deal with the tremendous complexity of the above issues in a brief and precise manner than Nikolai Genov. Besides his solid theoretical and methodological background, he has accumulated a large experience in the study of national transformations in Eastern Europe on the spot. In the course of the last several years he has coordinated the project on "Personal and Institutional Strategies for Coping with Transformation Risks in Central and Eastern Europe" in the framework of UNESCO’s Management of Social Transformations (MOST) Programme. The outcomes of the project are documented in numerous publications including the collections "Central and Eastern Europe. Continuing Transformation" (1998) and "Unemployment. Risks and Reactions" (1999). The present book relies on these collective research efforts and on the experience of other MOST projects. However, reaching farther than that, it is also an attempt of the author to analyze the processes in Eastern Europe by using a specific conceptual framework. Its core is the vision about four global trends. The key idea of the book is that the societal transformations in the region are basically determined by the need to adapt to the requirements of these global trends.

One may agree or disagree with the arguments developed by N. Genov while elaborating on this idea. Of more relevance is the expectation that the present publication will stir debates on the core issue of present-day social development, namely, how to manage the all-embracing transformations which powerfully dominate our everyday life.

    Ali KAZANCIGIL
    Director, Division on Social and
    Human Sciences at UNESCO
    Secretary General
    UNESCO-MOST Programme

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