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In: Empiriomonism
Civil Society Advances and Challenges
The Nonprofit Sector in Eastern Europe, Russia, and Central Asia (EERCA), edited by David Horton Smith, Alisa V. Moldavanova, and Svitlana Krasynska, uniquely provides a research overview of the nonprofit sector and nonprofit organizations in eleven former Soviet republics, with each central chapter written by local experts. Such chapters, with our editorial introductions, present up-to-date versions of works previously published in EERCA native languages. With a Foreword by Susan Rose-Ackerman (Yale University), introductory and concluding chapters also explain the editors’ theoretical approach, setting the whole volume in several, relevant, larger intellectual contexts, and summarize briefly the gist of the book. The many post-Soviet countries show much variety in their current situation, ranging from democratic to totalitarian regimes.
‘Socialism’ is a word that is now habitually taken to refer to a particular social system that prevailed in different parts of the globe during the twentieth century. This system was defined primarily by single-party rule with public (mainly state) ownership of the means of production along with a centrally planned economy. Its material base was generalised commodity production. The spokespersons of this system claim that this socialism was derived from Marx.

Paresh Chattopadhyay’s Socialism and Commodity Production argues the falsity of this claim. On the basis of a comprehensive study of Marx's own texts, as well as a detailed engagement with a wide variety of theorists of socialist economics, it shows that Marx's socialism constituted an ‘Association’ of free individuals in which private ownership, the commodity, wage labour and the state have no place.
Plenums of the Communist International’s Executive Committee, 1922-1923
This volume contains the proceedings and resolutions from three expanded meetings of the Executive Committee of the Communist International (Comintern) held in 1922–1923, while Lenin was still alive. At these 'mini-congresses', Communist leaders from around the world debated out major strategic questions and initiatives, from united front policy to the fight against fascism.
The material in this book – much of it appearing in English for the first time – is an essential source for understanding the world revolutionary movement in Lenin’s time, as well as the subsequent evolution of the Comintern. It is an important supplement to the widely acclaimed series of volumes edited by John Riddell containing the record of the Comintern’s first four world congresses.
Mikhail Lifshitz is a major forgotten figure in the tradition of Marxist philosophy and art history. A significant influence on Lukács, and the dedicatee of his The Young Hegel, as well as an unsurpassed scholar of Marx and Engels’s writings on art and a lifelong controversialist, Lifshitz’s work dealt with topics as various as the philosophy of Marx and the pop aesthetics of Andy Warhol. The Crisis of Ugliness (originally published in Russian by Iskusstvo, 1968), published here in English for the first time, and with a detailed introduction by its translator David Riff, is a compact broadside against modernism in the visual arts that nevertheless resists the dogmatic complacencies of Stalinist aesthetics. Its reentry into English debates on the history of Soviet aesthetics promises to re-orient our sense of the basic coordinates of a Marxist art theory.
Practices, Politics, and Identities
This volume explores the changing place of Islam in contemporary Central Asia, understanding religion as a “societal shaper” – a roadmap for navigating quickly evolving social and cultural values. Islam can take on multiple colors and identities, from a purely transcendental faith in God to a cauldron of ideological ferment for political ideology, via diverse culture-, community-, and history-based phenomena. The volumes discusses what it means to be a Muslim in today’s Central Asia by looking at both historical and sociological features, investigates the relationship between Islam, politics and the state, the changing role of Islam in terms of societal values, and the issue of female attire as a public debate. Contributors include: Aurélie Biard, Tim Epkenhans, Nurgul Esenamanova, Azamat Junisbai, Barbara Junisbai, Marlene Laruelle, Marintha Miles, Emil Nasritdinov, Shahnoza Nozimova, Yaacov Ro'i, Wendell Schwab, Manja Stephan-Emmrich, Rano Turaeva, Alon Wainer, Alexander Wolters, Galina M. Yemelianova, Baurzhan Zhussupov
Titoist Yugoslavia is a particularly interesting setting to examine the integrity of the modern nation-state, especially the viability of distinctly multi-ethnic nation-building projects. Scholarly literature on the brutal civil wars that destroyed Yugoslavia during the 1990s emphasizes divisive nationalism and dysfunctional politics to explain why the state disintegrated. But the larger question remains unanswered—just how did Tito’s state function so successfully for the preceding forty-six years. In an attempt to understand better what united the stable, multi-ethnic, and globally important Yugoslavia that existed before 1991 Robert Niebuhr argues that we should pay special attention to the dynamic and robust foreign policy that helped shape the Cold War.
Kazimierz Kelles-Krauz was an extraordinary figure on the Polish political scene at the turn of the 20th century. A Marxist and patriot, academic and politician, Kelles-Krauz was most known for his efforts to reconcile the needs of the nation with international socialism. This volume, however, offers a selection of his writings centred on the history of ideas, published for the first time in English. Kelles-Krauz’s works, while Marxist at heart, linked ideas stemming from the concepts of German idealists, French positivists, as well as contemporary sociologists who offered a bridge between research on individuals and the workings of social systems. Kelles-Krauz, however, repeatedly transcended Marxist tenets, focusing on the construction of traditions, social norms, and the social role of art.

This edited volume was first published in Polish as Kazimierz Kelles-Krauz: Marksizm a socjologia. Wybór pism by Wydawnictwa Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego in 2014. This current work has been revised and translated into English.
Subnational Identity and Civil Society in Nineteenth-Century Russia
In Imagining Russian Regions: Subnational Identity and Civil Society in Nineteenth-Century Russia, Susan Smith-Peter shows how ideas of civil society encouraged the growth of subnational identity in Russia before 1861. Adam Smith and G.W.F. Hegel’s ideas of civil society influenced Russians and the resulting plans to stimulate the growth of civil society also formed subnational identities.
It challenges the view of the provinces as empty space held by Nikolai Gogol, who rejected the new non-noble provincial identity and welcomed a noble-only district identity. By 1861, these non-noble and noble publics would come together to form a multi-estate provincial civil society whose promise was not fulfilled due to the decision of the government to keep the peasant estate institutionally separate.
After the First World War, East Central Europe underwent an extensive geopolitical reconfiguration, resulting in highly turbulent environments in which political sacrificial narratives found a breeding ground. They engaged various groups’ experiences of dispossession, energizing them for the wars against their ‘perpetrators’. By knitting together their frustrations and thus creating new foundational myths, these narratives introduced new imagined communities. Their mutual competition established a typically post-imperial traumatic constellation that generated discontent, frustrations and anxieties. Within the various constituencies that structured it through their interaction, this book focuses on literary narratives of dispossession, which, placed at its nodes, develop much subtler technologies than their political counterparts. They are interpreted as individual and clandestine oppositions to the homogenizing pattern of public narratives.