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Editor-in-Chief Constantin Iordachi, Markian Prokopovych, Balazs Trencsenyi and Maciej Janowski

East Central Europe is a peer-reviewed journal of social sciences and humanities with a focus on the region between the Baltic and the Adriatic, published in cooperation with the Central European University. The journal seeks to maintain the heuristic value of regional frameworks of interpretation as models of historical explanation, transcending the nation-state at sub-national or trans-national level, and to link them to global academic debates. East Central Europe has an interdisciplinary orientation, combining area studies with history and social sciences, most importantly political science, sociology, anthropology, and cultural studies. It aims to stimulate the dialogue and exchange between scholarship produced in and on East-Central Europe and other area study traditions, in a global context. East Central Europe is made in close cooperation with Pasts, Inc. in Central European University ( www.ceu.hu/pasts).

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Editors East Central Europe

The nature of labor movements and their political involvement and impact has recently been a matter of academic as well as political concern, at global level. In this respect, post-communist transformation in Eastern Europe offers an interesting case study. In the second half of 2007, the journal East Central Europe organized a debate on political scientist David Ost’s pioneering book The Defeat of Solidarity: Anger and Politics in Postcommunist Europe. A study on socialist and postsocialist political culture, the book focuses on the evolution of Solidarność (Solidarity) in Poland over two decades, 1980–2000. While accounting for the Polish postsocialist path to what might be called “popular illiberalism,” Ost also tackles wider issues concerning processes of democratization in times of crisis. This debate includes five short polemical essays written by three graduate students (Kacper Pobłocki, Tibor T. Meszmann, and Gábor Halmai), one junior scholar (Eszter Bartha) and one senior scholar (Don Kalb). The authors are trained in different disciplines (anthropology, political science, and history) and are specializing in the history of different countries (Poland, Hungary, Serbia, and Slovenia), thus adding to the debate a variety of disciplinary and national perspectives. The reviewers acknowledge the paramount importance of Ost’s book, calling it “a mustread” for all scholars interested in East European politics and labor movements. They commend the author for bringing the concept of class back to postsocialist analyses, and for addressing a set of important interdisciplinary theoretical and methodological questions. At the same time, the reviewers question Ost’s eclectic methodology on various grounds, criticizing it mainly for a lack of “temporal tracking,” for placing too much “causal weight” on “elite discourses” in producing the turn to illiberalism at the expense of anthropological research at grass-roots level, and for assigning too little agency to non-elites and the “worker-citizens.” In his response, David Ost clarifies the theoretical framework and main arguments of his book and further elaborates on his position, both conceptually and empirically. He advances a normative argument for consolidating democracy in Eastern Europe, arguing that “political entrepreneurs must rethink, reimagine, recontextualize the concept of class, and must try to make conflicts over interests more appealing to the populace than conflicts over identities.”

Visual Cultures of Death in Central Europe

Contemplation and Commemoration in Early Modern Poland-Lithuania

Series:

Aleksandra Koutny-Jones

In Visual Cultures of Death in Central Europe, Aleksandra Koutny-Jones explores the emergence of a remarkable cultural preoccupation with death in Poland-Lithuania (1569-1795). Examining why such interests resonated so strongly in the Baroque art of this Commonwealth, she argues that the printing revolution, the impact of the Counter-Reformation, and multiple afflictions suffered by Poland-Lithuania all contributed to a deep cultural concern with mortality.
Introducing readers to a range of art, architecture and material culture, this study considers various visual evocations of death including 'Dance of Death' imagery, funerary decorations, coffin portraiture, tomb chapels and religious landscapes. These, Koutny-Jones argues, engaged with wider European cultures of contemplation and commemoration, while also being critically adapted to the specific context of Poland-Lithuania.

MACIEJ JANOWSKI, CONSTANTIN IORDACHI and BALÁZS TRENCSÉNYI

It should be noted that Hungarians prefer to be called "Central" rather than "Eastern" Europeans.* Why bother about historical regions? The flash of interest in Central Europe in the wake of the annus mirabilis of 1989 has since then long waned. Even the European Union's Eastern enlargement

Nathaniel D. Wood

RESEARCH DOSSIER: URBAN HISTORY IN EAST CENTRAL EUROPE Nathaniel D. Wood URBAN SELF-IDENTIFICATION IN EAST CENTRAL EUROPE BEFORE THE GREAT WAR: THE CASE OF CRACOW Abstract: This article explores the development of urban and interurban identities in fln-de-siècle East Central Europe as

Marianne Saghy

MARIANNE SAGHY HISTORY OF THE RESEARCH PROJECT: "WOMEN AND POWER IN MEDIEVAL EAST CENTRAL EUROPE" "The quarrels of popes and kings, with wars and pestilences in every page; the men all so good for nothing and hardly any women at all - it is very tire- some." Jane Austen Women have been

Edited by Editors East Central Europe

Editors East Central Europe

Editors East Central Europe

Editor East Central Europe