Professor David Osti kursus "Postkommunistlik transformatsioon" 6.-10. detsember


RAS8204 Postkommunistlik transformatsioon (3 EAP)

Time: 6.detsember-10.detsember

Place: Uus-Sadama 5, Tallinn (room M-648)

Lecturer: Prof. dr. David Ost (Hobart and William Smith College, New York)

Overview:  This course is aimed at exploring various social scientific explanations for the collapse of the communist system, the transformations to new regimes after 1989, and the social and political consequences of this transformation. We look at institutionalist, modernization, and world-systems explanations for the collapse, then explore reasons for the embrace of neoliberalism as a model of transformation by most of the new governments, as well as the consequences in terms of workplace governance, class relations, and new cultural patterns.

Who won and who lost out in these transformations? We look at theoretical discussions of the market transition, and explore the fate of former communist apparatchiki as well as of workers, and make a brief foray into the question of why there was little feminist organization during the time of these grand social movements. We end with readings on contemporary eastern European society, including explanations for the recent success of the populist right, and look briefly at some of the consequences for international relations.

Course requirements are attendance and participation. Each student will give an oral presentation on at least one of the readings, and will write a few pages in response to the readings and the professor’s questions for two of the classes. Extra credit will be given to those who write papers on a topic to be discussed with the professor, due after the course is over.

The course will take place at Tallinn University, on December 6, 7, 9 and 10, 2010. It is possible to  register to the course via e-mail by sending a request to by November 10th. The course is primarily designed for PhD students within the doctoral school of behavioural, social and health sciences, but doctoral students from other disciplines and master students are also welcome.


Course schedule:



Valerie BunceSubversive Institutions – p.1-101 [20-76]

Georgi DerluguianBourdieu’s Secret Admirer in the Caucuses, ch. 4, “From 1968 to 1989” (104-128)

Moshe Lewin, The Gorbachev Phenomenon – chs. 3-4 (modernization, civil society approach)

Arrighi, Hopkins, & Wallerstein – “1989: Continuation of 1968?” (world systems)



Stark, David. 1996 "Recombinant Property in East European Capitalism." American Journal of Sociology 101(4): 993-1027.*

Johanna Bockman & Gil Eyal, “Eastern Europe as a Laboratory for Economic Knowledge: The Transnational Roots of Neoliberalism,” in American Journal of Sociology, 108: 2, September 2002, 310-352.

Andrew Barnes, “Comparative Theft: Context and Choice in the Hungarian, Czech, and Russian Transformations,” East European Politics and Societies 17:3 (August 2003), pp. 533-565.

Jozsef Borocz, “Informality Rules,” East European Politics and Societies, 14:2 (March 2000), 348-80.

Elizabeth Dunn, Privatizing Poland: Baby Food, Big Business, and the Remaking of the Polish Working Class – chs. 3-4

Peggy Watson, “Civil Society and the Politics of Difference in Eastern Europe,” in Joan Scott, Transitions, Environments, Translations – ch.2

Recommended: Hilary Appel, (2000) ‘The Ideological Determinants Of Liberal Economic Reform: The Case of Privatization’, World Politics, 52 (4), 520-49.




Larry King – Shock Privatization: Influence of Rapid Economic Privatization on Enterprise Restructuring – Politics and Society March 2003. RUINS MUCH OF RUSSIAN INDUSTRY

Mieke Meurs and Rasika Ranasinghe, “De-Development in Post-Socialism: Conceptual and Measurement Issues," Politics & Society 31:1 (March 2003), pp. 31-53.

Rona-Tas, Akos. 1994. “The First Shall be Last? Entrepreneurship and Communist Cadres in the Transition from Socialism.” American Journal of Sociology 100:40-69.* CADRES WIN OUT BECAUSE OF GOOD SOCIAL CAPITAL.

Szelenyi, Ivan and Eric Kostello. 1996. ‘The Market Transition Debate: Toward a Synthesis?’ American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 101: 1082-1096.* (Probably summarizes later book, but more careful attention to the whole DEBATE about market transition. IMPORTANT FOR ME TOO!) THIS AJS ISSUE HAS WHOLE SECTION OF DEBATE ON MARKET TRANSITION.

Kurt Weyland, “Neoliberal Populism in Latin America and Eastern Europe,” in Comparative Politics 31: 4 (Jul., 1999), 379-401

Peggy Watson, “Civil Society and the Politics of Difference in Eastern Europe,” in Joan Scott, Transitions, Environments, Translations – ch.2  [R]

ON UNIONS, ONE of the following three:

Either: Paul Kubicek, “Organized Labor in Postcommunist States: Will the Western Sun Set on It, Too?", Comparative Politics 32:1 (October 1999), 83-102.

OR: David Ost, “The End of Postcommunism,” in East European Politics and Societies, 23:1, Winter 2009.

OR: Calvin Chen & Rudra Sil, “Communist Legacies, Postcommunist Transformations, and the Fate of Organized Labor in Russia and China,” in Studies in Comparative International Development 41: 2 (2006): 63-87.


Recommended: Jeffrey Kopstein and David Reilly, “Geographic Diffusion and the Transformation of the Postcommunist World," World Politics 53:1 (October 2000), 1-37.

Recommended: Magnus Feldman, “Emerging Varieties of Capitalism in Transition Countries: industrial relations and wage bargaining in Estonia and Slovenia,” Comparative Political Studies 39:7 (September 2006): 829-854.




Mitchell A Orenstein – “Postcommunist Welfare States,” in Journal of Democracy 19: 4 (2008): 80-94

Dorothee Bohle and Bela Greskovits, “Neoliberalism, Embedded Neoliberalism, and Neocorporatism: Towards

                  Transnational Capitalism in Central-Eastern Europe,” in West European Politics 30:3, May 2007, 443-466.

Jacques Rupnik, “From Democracy Fatigue to Populist Backlash,” in Journal of Democracy 18:4, October 2007.

David Ost, The Defeat of Solidarity – chs. 1, 5, and 7

Janusz Mucha & Mike Keen, “Postcommunist Democratization and the Practice of Sociology in Central and Eastern Europe” [pdf]


EITHER Chip Gagnon, “Ethnic Conflict and International Security,” in International Security 19:3, 1994-95.

OR: Charles King, “The Benefits of Ethnic War: Understanding Eurasia's Unrecognized States," World Politics 53:4 (July 2001), pp. 524-552.       FASCINATING: they make war in order to make states, and they’ve succeeded.

OR: “Using America Against Europe: Poland’s National Reactions to Transnational Pressure,” in Mitchell Orenstein, Stephen Bloom, and Nicole Lindstrom, eds., Transnational and National Politics in Postcommunist Europe (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2008).


David Ost on poliitikateaduste professor Hobart and William Smith College'is Genevas (New York, USA) ning Varssavi Sotsiaal-ja Humanitaarteaduste Instituudi sotsioloogiaprofessor. Paljudes oma töödes on ta käsitlenud postkommunistlikke transformatsioone, näiteks "Solidaarsus ja anti-poliitika" (1990), "Töölised pärast töölisriiki" (2001) ning "Euroopa poliitika üleminekuajal" (mitmed väljaanded). Tema uusim teos "Solidaarsuse lüüasaamine: Viha ja poliitika postkommunistlikus Euroopas" (2005) võitis Ed Hewett'i nimelise auhinna parima postsotsialistlikku majanduspoliitikat käsitleva teose eest. David Ost osaleb sageli Poola poliitilistes debattides ning teeb kaastööd sealsele ajakirjandusele kaastööd. Tema töid on avaldatud sellistes ajakirjades nagu Politics and Society, European Journal of Social Theory, Theory and Society, East European Politics and Society, European Journal of Industrial Relations, The Nation, Dissent, Telos ja Tikkun. Hetkel on ta tegev ajakirjade Politics and Society ja East European Politics and Societies toimetuste kolleegiumides ning ajakirjade Polish Sociological Review, Studie Socjologiczne ja Studies of Transition States and Societies toimetusnõukogudes. 2005. aastal autasustas Lech Walesa D. Osti Solidaarsuse 25. aastapäevale pühendatud riikliku medaliga.

Additional information: Ivika Nõukas (


Tartu Ülikool Tagasi avalehele