James Mark, Bogdan C. Iacob, Tobias Rupprecht, Ljubica Spaskovska: 1989: A Global History of Eastern Europe (2019)

6 October 2020, dusan

“The collapse of the Berlin Wall has come to represent the entry of an isolated region onto the global stage. On the contrary, this study argues that communist states had in fact long been shapers of an interconnecting world, with ‘1989’ instead marking a choice by local elites about the form that globalisation should take. Published to coincide with the thirtieth anniversary of the 1989 revolutions, this work draws on material from local archives to international institutions to explore the place of Eastern Europe in the emergence, since the 1970s, of a new world order that combined neoliberal economics and liberal democracy with increasingly bordered civilisational, racial and religious identities. An original and wide-ranging history, it explores the importance of the region’s links to the West, East Asia, Africa, and Latin America in this global transformation, reclaiming the era’s other visions such as socialist democracy or authoritarian modernisation which had been lost in triumphalist histories of market liberalism.”

Publisher Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 2019
New Approaches to European History series, 59
ISBN 9781108427005, 1108427006
vii+372 pages

Reviews: Árpád von Klimo (H-Diplo, 2020), Tilmann Siebeneichner (German History, 2020), Nick Ostrum (Europe Now, 2020),

Interviews with co-author (James Mark): Ondřej Bělíček (A2larm, CZ, 2019), Ondřej Bělíček (Jacobin, 2020), Ronaldas Galinis (LRT.lt, 2020), Rūta Miškinytė (15min.lt, 2020, LT), Zoltán Ginelli (LeftEast, 2020, Part 2, Part 3).

Book summary (Eurozine, 2019).

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Cedric J. Robinson: An Anthropology of Marxism (2001–)

29 January 2020, dusan

An Anthropology of Marxism offers Cedric Robinson’s analysis of the history of communalism that has been claimed by Marx and Marxists. Suggesting that the socialist ideal was embedded both in Western and non-Western civilizations and cultures long before the opening of the modern era and did not begin with or depend on the existence of capitalism, Robinson interrogates the social, cultural, institutional, and historical materials that were the seedbeds for communal modes of living and reimagining society. Ultimately, it pushes back against Marx’s vision of a better society as rooted in a Eurocentric society, and cut off from its own precursors. Accompanied by a new foreword by H.L.T. Quan and a preface by Avery Gordon, this invaluable text reimagines the communal ideal from a broader perspective that transcends modernity, industrialization, and capitalism.”

Preface by Avery F. Gordon
Publisher Ashgate, 2001
ISBN 1840147008
xxii+169 pages

Second edition
New foreword by H. L. T. Quan
Publisher University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, NC, 2019
ISBN 9781469649917, 1469649918
xxix+171 pages

Commentary: Avery F. Gordon (Race & Class, 2005).
Review: Rose Deller (LSE Rev of Books, 2019).

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PDF (1st ed., 2001, 9 MB)
PDF (2nd ed., 2019, 2 MB)

Third Text, 153: Actually Existing Artworlds of Socialism (2018)

29 May 2019, dusan

“The tensions between actual and ideal versions of socialism elucidated by East German theorist Rudolf Bahro in 1977 are taken as a starting point for reconsidering East European art from the radical effervescence of the 1960s to the post-utopian twilight of the late 1970s. The special issue is premised on the concept that artistic life in Eastern Europe was profoundly shaped by the structures, conventions and workings of the overarching system, with artists and critics compelled to negotiate its productive contradictions. It examines the quotidian functioning of art scenes across the region that entailed the drawing up of tacit compromises and maintenance of calculated ambiguities in relations between party authorities and artists. Ultimately it was the latent and unrealised promise of actually existing socialism as much as its demonstrative failings that marked a crucial difference in the attitude of East European artists to the utopian reverberations of the era.”

With texts by Maja Fowkes & Reuben Fowkes, Tomáš Pospiszyl, Tomasz Załuski, Zsuzsa László, Daniel Grúň, Candice M Hamelin, Hana Buddeus, Alina Șerban, Raino Isto, Sonja Simonyi, Marko Ilić, and Armin Medosch.

Edited by Reuben Fowkes
Publisher Routledge, July 2018
ISSN 0952-8822
194 pages

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