Comrades No More
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From Belfer Center Studies in International Security

Comrades No More

The Seeds of Change in Eastern Europe

By Renée de Nevers

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Summary

In 1989, Soviet control over Eastern Europe ended when the communist regimes of the Warsaw Pact collapsed. These momentous and largely bloodless events set the stage for the end of the Cold War and ushered in a new era in international politics. Why did communism collapse relatively peacefully in Eastern Europe? Why did these changes occur in 1989, after more than four decades of communist rule? Why did this upheaval happen almost simultaneously in most of the Warsaw Pact? In Comrades No More, Renee de Nevers examines how internal and external factors interacted in the collapse of East European communism. She argues that Gorbachev's reforms in the Soviet Union were necessary to start the process of political change in Eastern Europe, but domestic factors in each communist state determined when and how each country abandoned communism. A "demonstration effect" emerged as Hungary and Poland introduced reforms and showed that Moscow would not intervene to prevent political and economic changes.De Nevers analyzes the process of change in Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, the German Democratic Republic, Czechoslovakia, and Romania. She traces the pattern of reform in each country and shows how these patterns influenced their postcommunist political evolution.

Hardcover

Out of Print ISBN: 9780262041935 320 pp. | 9.25 in x 6.125 in

Paperback

$28.00 X ISBN: 9780262541299 320 pp. | 9.25 in x 6.125 in

Reviews

  • In lucid, unpretentious form, she emerges as an intellectual arbiter...

    Foreign Affairs

Endorsements

  • Renée de Nevers's clear framework helps make sense of turbulent events and highlights the importance of demonstration effects as a more general cause of democratic change.

    Jack Snyder

    Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Relations, Columbia University

  • Renée de Nevers's clear framework helps make sense of turbulentevents and highlights the importance of demonstration effects as a... general cause of democratic change.

    Jack Snyder

    Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of InternationalRelations, Columbia University