Home » Books published » Lavinia Stan și Diane Vancea, coord., România postcomunistă: trecut, prezent, viitor. Iași: Polirom, 2017.

Lavinia Stan și Diane Vancea, coord., România postcomunistă: trecut, prezent, viitor. Iași: Polirom, 2017.

2014 marked the 25th anniversary of the collapse of communist regimes in Eastern Europe. The events of 1989 are widely seen as having ushered in new all-encompassing reforms in almost all areas of life. In few other places were reforms more contested and divisive than in Romania, a country that suffered greatly under the sultanistic-cum-totalitarian dictatorship of Nicolae Ceausescu, faced the region’s only bloody anti-communist revolt, and as such had the longest to travel on the road from communism to democracy. We now have a generation’s worth of experience with these wrenching reforms that have deeply affected Romania’s political institutions and political culture, and ultimately allowed it to become a member of the coveted European Union club. This volume gathers key lessons for democratic theory and practice from Romania’s first twenty-five years of post-communist transformation. Written by leading experts in the field of Romanian Studies, the chapters focus on the most important factors that have shaped the country’s political transformation since 1989. The volume includes contributions written by Radu Cinpoes, Monica Ciobanu, Dennis Deletant, Tom Gallagher, Peter Gross, Ronald F. King, Duncan Light, Cosmin Gabriel Marian, Mihaela Miroiu, Csaba Zoltan Novak, Cristina Parau, Levente Salat, Lavinia Stan, Marius Stan, Paul E. Sum, Vladimir Tismaneanu, Diane Vancea, Katherine Verdery, and Craig Young. Dennis Deletant and Mihaela Miroiu presented their chapters as keynote speeches at the 2015 Conference of the Society for Romanian Studies.

What people are saying about it:

“This new book… brings together timely contributions from younger and more established scholars from two continents that shed fresh light on the evolution of the fledgling Romanian democracy after 1989. It reminds us that Romania’s image and transition to democracy must be linked to the absence of market reforms and the lack of a vibrant civil society under communism. The book also demonstrates that the rapid proliferation of political parties after December 1989 brought about a weak form of pluralism that was not conducive to genuine political competition. The new political parties had weak constituencies, little grass-roots support, and lacked well-defined doctrines and internal discipline. The volume also points out several directions in which Romania must still make progress in order to catch up with its neighbors in the West. It will be of interest to political scientists, sociologists, and historians as well as to those studying Eastern Europe and transitions to democracy.” (Aurelian Crăiuţu, Indiana University, Bloomington)

“This timely volume marks the 25th anniversary of the collapse of the communist regime in Romania and explores the evolution of Romanian democracy by addressing the social and institutional development of the country since 1989. The editors have selected key themes which guide us on Romania’s democratic journey, and the contributors to the volume are some of the best scholars on Romania, providing important insights to the country’s political transformation. For anyone interested in understanding Romania’s democratic transition and the role that state, non-state and international actors have played, this is a must read.” (Steven D. Roper, Nazarbayev University, Astana, Kazakhstan)

“Scholars in transition and Europeanization will find plenty of useful data, and the book is highly informative, yet accessible enough for a wider readership. At the same time, for all its ambition of a symbolic (self-)assessment and critical reflection, I cannot imagine a potentially more interested audience than the Romanian public itself—for this book raises fundamental questions of interest to anyone who cares about democracy. “(Nicolae–Emanuel Dobrei, National University of Political Studies and Public Administration, Bucharest, Romania)

“A comprehensive view of Romania 25 years after the collapse of Ceausescu’s regime…The chapters present first-rate scholarship from some of the experts in this area and a great deal of methodological diversity as well. The diversity in methods and content is a definitive strength of the book…Though the focus of the book is on Romania, much is applicable to the other post-Communist countries in the region.” (J. R. Clardie, Northwest Nazarene University)

“Several of these chapters provide an original extension of the existing academic literature, and the volume itself yields probably the fullest picture of Romania’s post-communist evolution. It is an instructive read for anyone interested in the country’s recent past.” (Endre Borbath, European University Institute, Italy)

“O singură observație, sumară și în registru pozitiv, despre aceas­tă carte care ar merita multe serii și tipuri de dezbateri: alături de alte titluri cu tematică similară (dar nu foarte multe – și, semnificativ, bu­nă parte dintre ele rea­lizate de autori care sunt în SRS sau care gravitează în jurul acestei organizații), România post­co­mu­nistă – prezent, trecut și viitor e un re­du­tabil, rafinat, remar­ca­bil și, cred, de ne­ocolit manual de istorie con­temporană a României.” (Cristian Patrasconiu, 22)

“The book gathers an impressive list of well-known scholars of Romanian studies, mostly from universities and research centers in the USA, the United Kingdom, and Canada … The present volume exceeds the value of many other previous contributions from Romania.” (Florin Anghel, Analele Universitatii Ovidius din Constanta – Seria Stiinte Politice)