In March 2000, at the European Council meeting in Lisbon, the European Union heads of states set an ambitious goal «to become the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world.» Such a goal requires major reforms of the societies and economies of the EU member states. This book explores the effects of these reforms on the eight Central and Eastern European countries that entered the EU in May 2004. Since 1989, these countries have been going through a major transformation to the market economy and democratic society. A Clash of Transitions attempts to answer how the societies and people can cope with multiple transitions. This volume is useful for courses on education, Central and Eastern Europe and European studies.