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Introduction

  • Oliver Schmidtke
  • Serhy Yekelchyk

Abstract

Since the collapse of Communism, the European continent has witnessed rapidly shifting political boundaries and a profound geopolitical transformation in the former Soviet Union’s sphere of influence. For the countries in Central and Eastern Europe, the division of the continent at the end of the Cold War ushered in an often dramatic reshaping of their political and national identity. In political debates, this reorientation in the post-Communist area has often been framed as the choice between adopting a pro-Western course and staying loyal to the traditional alliance with Russia. One critical expression of these competing loyalties has been the search for a new collective security system in Europe and the gradual expansion of NATO as a Western military alliance toward Russia’s borders. Yet the tension between the Communist legacy and the historical attachment to Russia on the one hand and the growing attraction of Western Europe and the EU on the other has also shaped the path to domestic socio-political reform in formerly Communist countries. Western ideas and institutions of liberal democracy and market economy have become major vehicles, promoting and directing the course of transformation. They have provided a blueprint for modernization and change.

Keywords

National Identity Liberal Democracy Soviet Republic European Neighbourhood Policy Neighbourhood Policy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Oliver Schmidtke and Serhy Yekelchyk, eds. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Oliver Schmidtke
  • Serhy Yekelchyk

There are no affiliations available

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