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Theorising Social Change in Post-Soviet Countries

Sanghera, Balihar / Amsler, Sarah / Yarkova, Tatiana (eds)

Theorising Social Change in Post-Soviet Countries

Critical Approaches

Year of Publication: 2007

Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2007. 367 pp.
ISBN 978-3-03910-329-4 pb.  (Softcover)

Weight: 0.550 kg, 1.213 lbs

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Book synopsis

The book traces three main approaches to the sociology of post-Soviet societies: studies guided by neoliberal theory and/or practice; work which may be termed neoconservative in orientation, and which is often a response to the first; and a third type of work that is considered both critical and reflexive, and which seeks to transcend the limitations of the other approaches. The book is divided into three parts, addressing polity, culture and economy. In each section, authors endeavour to transcend both neoliberalism and neoconservatism, and reach for a third approach, ‘critical social science’. This is a broad movement, and the authors vary in their own explanatory and normative ideas as they carve out frameworks that will enable them to develop a more rigorous and at the same time more comprehensive and critical understanding of social change.


Contents: Sarah Amsler/Balihar Sanghera: Introduction. Post-Soviet Social Science: Reaching Beyond Neoliberalism and Neoconservatism – Boris Kapustin: Violence and Post-Communism – Vanessa Ruget: Social Rights and Citizenship in Kyrgyzstan: A Communitarian Perspective – George Welton/Adrian Brisku: Contradictory Inclinations? The Role of ‘Europe’ in Albanian Nationalist Discourse – Donnacha Ó Beacháin: Transformation of Social Status: Ethnic Russians in Post-Soviet Kazakhstan – Zoltán Berényi: Weak Civic Culture in Hungary: An Examination of Some Consequences of Economic Inequality – Stephan E. Nikolov: The Constrained Development of Non-Profit Organisations in Bulgaria – Sarah Amsler: Knowledge, Freedom and Post-Soviet Imperialism: The Case of Social Science in Kyrgyzstan – Anna Horolets: Media and Politics in Transitional Poland: Symbiosis or Adversary Relations? – Ivan Chorvát: Family and Women in Central and Eastern Europe: The Significance of Traditional Roles after Socialism – Olga Boiko/Elena Chernyshkova: Social Policy Issues through the Discourse of the Russian Press – Julia Droeber: Social Embedding of a Local Economy: Agricultural Transition and the Dungan Minority in Kyrgyzstan – Sebastian Eckardt/Andreas Goldthau: Reforming into Growth or Growing into Reform? A Critical Note on the Post Washington Consensus – Lukasz Hardt: Institutional Disequilibrium: Formal Institutions in Polish Cultural Space – Maks Kobonbaev: The Failed Transition from a Planned to a Market System in Kyrgyzstan – Balihar Sanghera/Aibek Ilyasov: Theorising Morality and Economic Behaviour in Kyrgyzstan: Some Issues of Professional Practices.

About the author(s)/editor(s)

The Editors: Balihar Sanghera studied economics and sociology in Lancaster and development economics at Oxford. He has taught political economy at the universities of Birmingham, Novosibirsk and Bishkek. He is currently a lecturer in sociology at the University of Kent, UK. His current research is on the moral and ethical aspects of political economy.
Sarah Amsler studied sociology at the London School of Economics. She is now a lecturer in sociology at Kingston University, UK. Her fields of expertise are the sociology of knowledge in cultural institutions (the university, the museum, and the school) and the politics of science, particularly in post-colonial and post-Soviet societies.
Tatiana Yarkova studied sociology at the Central European University and the Centre for Social Studies, Warsaw. She currently works as a senior program manager at the Special and Extension Programs, Central European University. Her research interests include political sociology, Eastern European and Central Asian studies.


«[This book] is a valuable resource for policy-makers, scholars, students and anyone interested in the controversies of the first post-socialist decade.» (Maria Yelenevskaya, International Sociology Review of Books)