Deserved. Economic Memories After the Fall of the Iron Curtain

Book Presentation and Discussion

After the fall of the Iron Curtain, people across the former socialist world saw their lives transformed. In just a few years, labor markets were completely disrupted, and the meanings attached to work were drastically altered. How did people who found themselves living under state socialism one day and capitalist democracy the next adjust to the changing social order and its new system of values?

The book launch offered the chance to discuss the following questions:

  • How do people perceive and affectively make sense of economic inequality in Central Eastern Europe today, and what are the consequences for political trust?
  • How are today‘s crisis experiences informed by past encounters with significant social changes during the 1990s?
  • How do political actors weaponize the memory of social change – in Central Eastern Europe and beyond?

The event was moderated by Anna-Marie Kroupová (University of Vienna). Anna Durnová, Dorit Geva, Misha Glenny and Philipp Ther commented on Till Hilmar's new book.

Till Hilmar is a postdoctoral researcher in the University of Vienna’s Department of Sociology. He is the author of Deserved. Economic Memories after the Fall of the Iron Curtain, which was recently published by Columbia University Press. He received his PhD from Yale University in 2019. His research has been published in numerous outlets, including the European Journal of Sociology, East European Politics and Societies, and the Journal of Contemporary European Studies.


This event was organized in cooperation with RECET and the University of Vienna's Department of Sociology.