The recent rise of populism and illiberalism in Europe and beyond has prompted scepticism about the inevitability of the liberal consensus and the necessary interconnection of free markets along with constitutionalism and democracy. It has also raised questions regarding the long-term legacies of authoritarian legal thought and practice in East Central Europe. The contributions in this issue aim to situate the revolutionary changes ushered in by the events of 1989 into the longer history of how state socialist systems evolved in the post-war era. They demonstrate that the processes of transformation in the 1990s did not come about from a Stunde Null moment in which the socialist past was cleared away, making way entirely for a liberal future. Law, constitutionalism and neo-liberalism were not simply imported and transplanted from the West through a ‘catching up revolution’. Instead, economic and legal experts paved the way for these developments from within the socialist system itself. Together these articles illuminate how law shaped the nature of authoritarian rule under communist dictatorship, how economic reforms could prompt legal reforms towards strictly authoritarian ends, how constitutional transformations were not the result of the natural unfolding of progress, but strongly ideological liberal projects, and how that resulted in some cases, such as Hungary and Poland, in distinctive ‘counter-constitutional’ projects.
(Re-)Constituting the State and Law during the ‘Long Transformation of 1989’ in East Central Europe
Edited by Michal Kopeček and Ned Richardson-Little
Michal KopečekWas There a Socialist Rechtsstaat in Late Communist East Central Europe? The Czechoslovak Case in a Regional Context
Jakub SzumskiState Tribunal and the Paradoxes of Socialist Legality in 1980s Poland
Tobias RupprechtPinochet in Prague: Authoritarian Visions of Economic Reforms and the State in Eastern Europe, 1980–2000
Marta BucholcLaw and Liberal Pedagogy in a Post-Socialist Society: The Case of Poland
Paul BlokkerBuilding Democracy by Legal Means? The Contestation of Human Rights and Const)itutionalism in East-Central Europe
Forum: What Does it Mean to be a Politician?
Edited by Henk te Velde and Anne Petterson
With contributions by Henk te Velde, Herman Paul, Toon Kerkhoff, Marnix Beyen, Dennis Bos / Anne Petterson, Margit van der Steen, Luuk van Middelaar
Shai ShruogoThe Jewish Workers in the Port Space of Thessaloniki (1939–1943): Their War Experience as Workers, Greeks and Jews
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Redaktion: hsk.redaktion [at] geschichte.hu-berlin.de. ISSN: 2196-5307