Event Details

Social Movements and the Challenges to State Socialism in Central and Eastern Europe

27 March 2020

Social Movements and the Challenges to State Socialism in Central and Eastern Europe

Following the dramatic events of 1989, the political landscape looked significantly different and continued to be in flux throughout 1990. The German Democratic Republic held its first (and final) democratic election in March 1990, setting a path that ultimately led to reunification in October that year. In June 1990, the holding of parliamentary elections in Czechoslovakia confirmed the outcome of the previous year’s Velvet Revolution. And in Poland, the country’s political transformation was symbolised by the election of Solidarność founder Lech Wałęsa to the presidency in December 1990. Throughout the year, challenges to the status quo in the Soviet Union came from a variety of national, political and environmental movements, extending into many aspects of everyday life.

Thirty years on from these seismic changes, our conference intends to offer a fresh assessment of the way in which communist rule was being contested before the collapse of state socialism. We are particularly interested in the ways that social movements and transnational actors challenged the existing systems and power relations. We invite proposals on different countries in the region, with a focus on movements and events in the 1970s and/or 1980s.

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Studies in Labour History book series

Labour and the Caucus from the Studies in Labour History series

Studies in Labour History provides reassessments of broad themes along with more detailed studies arising from the latest research in the field of labour and working-class history, both in Britain and throughout the world.

It includes studies of labour organizations, including international ones, where there is a need for new research or modern reassessment. It is also its objective to extend the breadth of labour history’s gaze beyond conventionally organized workers

‘…a series which will undoubtedly become an important force in re-invigorating the study of Labour History.’ English Historical Review