Perceptions of Society in Communist Europe: Regime Archives and Popular Opinion

Drawing on archival sources from Czechoslovakia, Poland, East Germany, Romania and Bulgaria, Perceptions of Society in Communist Europe considers whether and to what extent communist regimes cared about popular opinion, how they obtained their information, and how it helped them implement and maintain their rule.

Contrary to popular belief, communist regimes sought to legitimise their domination with minimal resort to violence in order to maintain their everyday power. This entailed a permanent negotiation process between the rulers and the ruled, with public approval of governmental policies becoming key to their success. By analysing topics such as a Stalinist musical in Czechoslovakia, workers’ letters to the leadership in Romania, children’s television in Poland and the figure of the secret agent in contemporary culture, as well as many more besides, Muriel Blaive and the contributors demonstrate the potential of social history to deconstruct parochial national perceptions of communism.

This cutting-edge volume is a vital resource for academics, postgraduates and advanced undergraduates studying East-Central European history, Stalinism and comparative communism.

Edited by Muriel Blaive – Contributions by Muriel Blaive, Rosamund Johnston, Adrian Grama, Marián Lóži, Molly Pucci, Shawn Clybor, Martin K. Dimitrov, Sonia Combe, Machteld Venken, Libora Oates-Indruchová, Jill Massino and Veronika Pehe.

 

Recent Publications

  • Wenn Demokratien demokratisch untergehen

    Demokratie ist die Regierungsform unserer Zeit. Dennoch erodiert ihre Legitimität gleichsam von innen heraus. Wie vollzieht sich dieser Prozess und welche Handlungsmöglichkeiten gibt es, dem demokratischen Untergang der Demokratie entgegenzuwirken? Die weltweite Verbreitung und Beliebtheit der Demokratie gehen mit ihrer Krise einher. Im historischen Moment ihrer größten Ausdehnung scheint – aus dem Innern der Demokratie …
    Read more

  • La città post-secolare. Il nuovo dibattito sulla secolarizzazione

    In breve Il tema con cui questo libro si misura è il passato prossimo della teoria della secolarizzazione. Ha quindi a che fare con il destino della religione, e pure della laicità, oggi. L’Autore intende offrire un ritratto affidabile dell’evoluzione recente di un dibattito cruciale, tornato al centro della discussione pubblica, in modo da fornire …
    Read more

  • Widening the Context: The Eurozine Anthology

    What started thirty-five years ago as an informal meeting of European editors became the basis for Eurozine, founded in 1998 as an online cultural journal and editorial network. To celebrate this double anniversary, Eurozine has published a print anthology spanning the project chronologically, thematically, generically and geographically. The book provides an insight into two decades …
    Read more