In recent years the countries of eastern Europe have been undergoing a process of rapid social and political transformation. This process has brought with it common problems experienced on different levels: economic crisis, growing social insecurity and injustice, ethnic conflicts and civil strife. In addition, post--communist societies have encountered political, legal and social difficulties in coming to term with their own past. In this book, Claus Offe provides a lucid and insightful account of this complex process of transformation. In a wide--ranging discussion he analyses the problems brought about by the creation of new political and economic orders in the countries of central and eastern Europe, and argues that the way forward is to build and consolidate a new democratic polity, a new economy, and a new conception of nationhood capable of absorbing ethnic conflict. He examines the comparatively straightforward -- but nonetheless extremely rocky -- a special patha to capitalism followed by the former German Democratic Republic, and analyzes the effects which the collapse of communism has had on western democracies.
Varieties of Transition will be welcomed by students and researchers in a wide range of disciplines including politics, sociology, European Studies, German Studies and modern history.
Preface. 1. The Structure of Industrial Societies: The Joint Characteristics and Shortcomings of State Socialist Societies and Democratic Capitalism. 2. Prosperity, Nation, Republic: Modes of Societal Integration and the Unique German Journey from Socialism to Capitalism. 3. Capitalism by Democratic Design? Democratic Theory Facing the Triple Transition in East Central Europe. 4. Ethnic Politics in East European Transitions. 5. Disqualification, Retribution, Restitution: Dilemmas of Justice in Post--Communist Transitions. 6. The Morality of Restitution: Reflections on Some Normative Questions Raised by the Transition to a Private Economy (with Frank Bonker). 7. A a Special Patha of Transformation? The German a Accession Territorya Compared with its East European Neighbours. 8. Economic a Hardwarea and Institutional a Softwarea in the two German Transitions to Democracy: Comparing Post--1945 West Germany with Post--1989 East Germany. 9. The Left after the Westa s Victory. Notes. References. Index.