From Losers and Winners to Victims and Perpetrators

JVF Conference Papers

In the post-socialist transformation, people are engaged in reinventing the standards of a decent human life and social well-being. In a parallel way, critical debates have arisen in scholarly and other intellectual circles to investigate the outcomes of the wholesale social restructuring. Many observers contend that the critical accounts of the transformation dominantly express disappointment, discontent, and even deep despair in most countries of the region. Investigating the experience of post-communist disillusionment, Vladimir Tismaneanu concludes that constitutional pluralism lacks magnetizing virtues; people experience cultural chaos, sense deep cynicism, humiliation, panic, and insecurity. Under circumstances in which sources of authority are eroding, an entrenched attitude of suspicion characterizes people's imagination. This disposition invites the return of the repressed, politics of emotion, hostility and anger...

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